PILP Alums Create Curriculum for Law Day in the Schools

Last year, 41 volunteers traveled to seven Boston public high schools for the Law Day in the Schools Program

Last year, 41 volunteers traveled to seven Boston public high schools for the Law Day in the Schools Program

With May fast approaching, PILP alumni are hard at work developing the elementary school and middle school/high school curriculum for the annual Law Day in the Schools Program. This year, volunteer attorneys will teach students about voting rights under the American Bar Association theme “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”

Beyond the Billable checked in with Sheryl Howard (Krokidas & Bluestein LLP), a former PILPer who is developing on the high school and middle school curriculum, to get the inside scoop on what to expect this year.

Here’s what she had to say:

Why did you volunteer to help develop the curriculum?

“I taught high school in Oklahoma for a brief period of time, so working on the curriculum is a chance to get back to my teaching roots. This year’s topic – voting rights – has such an important history and will likely be an important issue for years to come. During a meeting of the group working on the high school curriculum, one member mentioned that, at other points in time, the entire working group would have been denied the vote. The challenge is to find a way to engage elementary to high school students on this issue in a way that is meaningful and interesting.”

Why should attorneys volunteer for the Law Day in the Schools Program?

“First, it is tremendous fun, and the students can really surprise you. A few years back, my class was discussing what rights should be in a constitution, and one student made a passionate case for greater property rights for 8 year olds. It’s a chance to talk about what we do as lawyers (and to perhaps inspire the next generation). Younger students may not have a clear picture of what lawyers do, and some students may have few positive contacts with the legal profession. This year’s topic – voting rights – is particularly timely. Last, the project involves a very short time commitment. There is virtually no prep time; the lesson plan will be provided. All you have to do is show up!”

Thank you to the following PILP alumni who volunteered their time to help develop the interactive curriculum on voting rights:

Elementary School
Darren Braham, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Dara Kesselheim, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Lucy Rivera
Sherley Rodriguez, Greater Boston Legal Services
Matt Welnicki, Melick & Porter, LLP

High School/Middle School
Ann Braga, City of Boston
Jane Harper, State Street Corporation
Sheryl Howard, Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
Bonnie McGuire, FINRA
Katie Milton, Casa Myrna Vazquez

Are you interested in volunteering? Contact Katie D’Angelo at [email protected] for more information.