STYLE Receives Support from Federal District Judge

By: Judge Wiley Y. Daniel

I am pleased to offer my support to the inaugural Spring Training for Youth and Legal Education (STYLE) program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. The high school students nominated to participate in this program will have an invaluable opportunity to learn about an important first step in the path to a legal career. Exposure to law students and faculty, as well as to the law school campus environment, will inspire students to continue to excel academically throughout high school and college, and will provide that spark of interest necessary to realize the goal of achieving a legal education. Additionally, the involvement of legal professionals in this seminar is crucial to students envisioning how they can become leaders and improve their communities. 

Pipeline programs that assist in guiding promising and motivated students to a legal career are influential in the lives of those students and to the legal community as a whole. Participating students, coming from largely underrepresented minority communities and lower socioeconomic backgrounds, often have no other opportunity to gain insight into the variety of career options that the profession offers and have few resources to help them prepare for the demands of legal education. Law schools and the legal profession benefit from a more diverse applicant pool that includes a greater variety of perspectives, experiences, and contributions, ultimately strengthening the entire profession. Participating students who become successful practicing attorneys will cause ripple effects, resulting in improved conditions for their families, clients, and communities.

It is critical for the legal community to become actively engaged in pipeline programs such as STYLE. Mentorship is an important element of these programs, as the mentor serves both as a role model for success and a rich source of knowledge about practicing law. My hope is that many members of the legal community, from law students to experienced practitioners to judges, will be inspired to mentor these students. I applaud the Denver University Law Review for highlighting diversity in the legal profession, and I commend the STYLE leaders for organizing the program. I strongly encourage law students to remain committed to fostering connections within the legal profession and to continue efforts aimed at motivating historically underrepresented groups to consider law as a career. 

 

Friday
Apr262013

DU Law Takes Steps to Diversify the Legal Profession with Student-Led Program for High School Students

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By: Stefanie Arndt

Twenty-eight high school students from around the Denver Metropolitan area spent their Saturday participating in the first Spring Training for Youth and Legal Education (STYLE) Program on April 20, 2013 at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

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Monday
Apr152013

Coaching Mock Trial at "The School That Works"

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Dermot Lynch

When you first walk through the doors at Arrupe Jesuit High School in North Denver, you might not catch the important double meaning in the signs preaching: “This Is a School that Works.”[1] You might even dismiss Arrupe’s slogan as an empty bromide more fittingly used by a politician at a ribbon-cutting ceremony than by a school serious about addressing education inequality.

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Sunday
Apr142013

Making Law School Tangible: What Schools are Currently Doing and What More Can be Done

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Renee Sheeder*

Law schools and the legal profession have recognized the need to have a diverse workforce that will benefit clients, the profession, and the community as a whole.[1] However, in general, racial and ethnic minorities make up about 30 percent of the total U.S. population while only about 15 percent of U.S. law school populations are racial and ethnic minorities.[2] This gap will only become wider, as statistics have predicted minority populations will continue to rise over the next 40 years and the number of minority law school students has remained steady or slightly decreased for the last decade.[3] A major problem is that law schools do not have much short-term incentive to focus on the “pipeline”[4] issue of encouraging younger students to apply, due to the constant and immediate need for applicants with high LSAT scores and GPAs.[5] However, law schools do have a long-term incentive to develop community outreach programs that will encourage and engage younger students in order to enhance and diversify future pools of applicants that will include bright students who would not have otherwise considered a career in law.[6] The key to this effort is for law schools to collaborate with local K-12 schools, local communities, legal employers, and local bar associations.[7] This article will highlight the current efforts of some law schools around the country encouraging K-12 students to consider legal careers and will also make note of areas in which this effort can be improved.

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Wednesday
Apr032013

Diversity in the Legal Profession: Whatever Affects One Directly, Affects All Indirectly

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LaLonnie Villa-Martinez

A pipeline program prepares minority high school students to face the academic and ethical rigors of the legal profession.[1] In the spirit of encouraging more diversity in the legal profession, student leaders at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law began a new program called Spring Training for Youth and Legal Education (STYLE). STYLE invites high school students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to the Sturm College of Law and introduces them to the legal profession. Each STYLE participant has been nominated by a teacher, counselor, or other community member based on the student’s motivation and potential for success. All students come from Colorado high schools, including Venture Prep, Denver School of Science and Technology–Green Valley Ranch, West Generation Academy, and North.

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