Last week, 41 volunteer attorneys headed to Boston public elementary school and high school classrooms for the annual Law Day in the Schools Program on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The volunteers taught 782 students in seven Boston public schools about the issue of equality.
Beyond the Billable attended a few sessions to bring you a first-hand look at the program:
Volunteer Attorney Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC) asks students in Mr. Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School what lawyers do.
Lisa Menelly (Raytheon Company) leads Ms. Pearl-Haynes’s 4th grade class at Mozart Elementary School in Roslindale in a discussion about what equality means.
Beyond the Billable also tracked down the volunteers to see what they had to say about their experiences:
I would encourage everyone to volunteer for the Law Day in the Schools. Not only was it personally fulfilling, it was really fun to be in a class where the students were so engaged and excited just to have a “real” lawyer in the classroom – something that’s definitely not a commonplace experience for them. In the class I taught, we went from general themes of equality under the law to a very spirited debate about whether kids should have the right to vote. (Consensus – only if they learn about the issues and don’t just vote for their friends!) It’s a terrific opportunity to inspire the next generation and remind ourselves how lawyers have been and continue to be a positive force for change. – Lisa Menelly (Raytheon Company), Volunteer Attorney for Kimberly Peart-Haynes’s 4th grade class at Mozart Elementary School.
Although some students were quiet at the beginning of the class, every one of them became passionately involved during the breakout sessions and presentations, which we organized as debates (a suggestion from one of the students). It was gratifying to hear all of the students sharing their ideas, suggestions, and viewpoints with each other. – Deborah Levine (SEC), Volunteer Attorney in Alan Humbert’s 11th & 12th grade class at West Roxbury Academy
I thoroughly enjoyed my participation in Law Day in the Schools. The fifth grade students were smart, engaged, and well behaved. It was a pleasure to hear their thoughts on what “equality” means and how they can help promote equality in their school and community. – Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O’Brien, PC), Volunteer Attorney in Matthew Lyndon’s 5th grade class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School.
For more information on the Law Day in the Schools Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].
First Justice of the Brighton District Court Judge David Donnelly invited students from Saint Columbkille School, state and local officials, and business leaders to Brighton Court for its version of Law Day on Friday, May 3rd. BBA President Elect Paul Dacier (EMC) participated in the program, which included student essays and drawings on the 2013 ABA Law Day theme, “Realizing the Dream Equality for All.”
Here’s what Paul had to say about the event:
I was proud to represent the Boston Bar Association at Brighton District Court’s Law Day. Judge Donnelly shared valuable lessons on the issue of equality and honored the students’ thoughtful work with awards and citations. I look forward to next year’s event.
Beyond the Billable was on hand to capture the day:
President Elect Paul Dacier (EMC Corporation) participated in the processional into the courtroom with other business leaders and state and local officials for the Brighton District Court’s Law Day program.
Chief Justice Charles Johnson (Boston Municipal Court), BBA President Elect Paul Dacier (EMC Corporation), and Judge David Donnelly (Brighton District Court) took part in the Brighton District Court’s annual Law Day Celebration.
Check back later this week to see pictures from the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program.
A number of Law Day in the Schools volunteers gathered in the Adam’s room at the BBA on Wednesday, April 24th to learn more about the program curriculum and to gain helpful tips during the training. Thirty-nine BBA volunteers are already scheduled to teach Boston Public High School students in seven schools about gender equality in the workplace.
Dara Kesselheim (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office) discussed ways to engage elementary school students during the activity to help them learn about equality.
Matt Welnicki (Melick & Porter LLP), Dara Kesselheim( Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Emily Hodge (Choate Hall & Stewart LLP) led the Law Day in the Schools Training at the BBA on Wednesday.
To learn more about how to get involved in the program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].
Are you interested in teaching Boston public school students about equality? Volunteer for the 2013 Law Day in the Schools Program on May 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Lawyers can visit classrooms throughout city, teaching elementary, middle school and high school students about the 2013 ABA theme, “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.” The BBA provides volunteers with all the written materials for the Program and you can volunteer in pairs.
Volunteer Emily Hodge (Choate Hall & Stewart LLP) leads students through a mock trial at Josiah Quincy Elementary School during the 2012 Law Day in the Schools Program.
A second grade student thanks a volunteer for teaching her about the constitution and helping create classroom rules.
If you are interested in volunteering, please review the available volunteer sessions on our website here. To learn more about curriculum and how to effectively teach the meetings, attend the Law Day in the Schools training April 24th from 8:30-9:30 am. You can sign up for the training here.
For more information on the program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected]
This program is funded by the Francis S. Moran Fund of the Boston Bar Foundation.