On Tuesday, May 25, high school students from around Philadelphia and the surrounding region gathered at Temple University's Beasley School of Law to attend the 2010 Minority Law Day event, which provided interested students with information about potential careers in the legal profession. The annual event was organized by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee.
Students attended a mock law lecture and then progressed to small group activities with lawyers and judges conducting a mock student disciplinary hearing in which the student was charged with violations of a student code of conduct. Students participated in both sides of the hearing and brainstormed arguments for an appeal of the decision handed down. Students also observed lawyers arguing appeals based upon their brainstorming sessions and had an opportunity to ask questions of the judges and lawyers following the appeal hearing. A brief awards ceremony and reception followed the mock trial.
"We would like to show high school students, especially those minority students who often feel marginalized or ignored, that there are tremendous opportunities available in law-related careers. By using a vehicle such as Minority Law Day programs and with the assistance of local attorneys and judges to present them with examples of real-life problems that could have an impact on their lives today, we hope to give the students some new ideas and perspectives about minorities in law professions," said Arlene Rivera Finkelstein, assistant dean and executive director of the Toll Public Interest Center at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee is dedicated to improving diversity in the legal profession and looking for ways for future leaders to make positive impacts in their communities.