Law Links Program is a Gem :: Arnold M. Weiner Law Firm, Other Local Firms Participate
Arnold M. Weiner Law Firm Participates with Intern Keira Hopkins of Western H.S.
(BALTIMORE - August 3, 2012) - I had the opportunity this week – thanks to Attorney Barry Gogel of the Law Offices of Arnold M. Weiner – to meet some of the most fascinating young people in the world, so full of life and energy. Their passion and enthusiasm for learning, for interpreting, for thinking … was so refreshing.
Shelley Wojciechowski and her team, including Ms. Lesley, have shared of themselves with these young people – mostly African American females. One can easily see that the light bulbs of education have been turned on and that these young adults are soon to be a force in the marketplace.
I was most impressed with their individual focus on reaching higher heights. In a week where young black females around the country can point to Gold Medal Winner Gabrielle Douglas as a quintessential example of what a black family in America can accomplish with the necessary sacrifice – these young adults remind us that greatness is all around us.
Lauryn Hill’s famous quote comes to mind: “I have come to learn that what differentiates one child from another is not ability, but access: Access to education; access to opportunity; access to love.”
In an American society that can be a slippery slope at best for many African Americans, the Law Links program is a classic example of what young people can achieve – regardless of race – with the proper support.
And while there was only one young black man in the class, a student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Community High School, he, too, is a reminder that so many more young black men can also achieve more with the proper pursuit. While his name currently escapes me, he was intent on attending Medical School. And that leads me to the real beauty of the program.
This program not only teaches young people about law – and the various fields of law, it also affords these young people the golden opportunity to see the life of a lawyer up close and personal. Take Keira Hopkins, the intern at Weiner’s firm, for instance: She doesn’t want to go into law, but she now knows why that isn’t necessarily the field for her.
I like the fact that young people are being taught about their options and about making the very best decisions. Thank God for this program. It is a gem! Since '94, we have placed 729 interns, of which 713 have successfully completed. Many interns have remained in communication with their Law Links contacts, and some have returned to work for their firms --a very cool 'come-full-circle' aspect to the program!"
According to Shelley Wojciechowski, "Law Links began as a joint effort between the Maryland State Bar Association and CLREP in 1994. It was modeled after a similar urban program in St. Louis. With the exception of 1995, it has run every year since. For a while, it also expanded to Prince George's, Howard, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties. In addition to providing paid work experience, Law Links also provides the educational forum (the "Law Links Institute" which you saw this morning) where students learn about specific law-related topics, and meet legal professionals. It is customary to meet with Chief Judge Robert M. Bell (Court of Appeals), Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn (District Court of Maryland), as well as various lawyers, and Circuit Court judges. The interns also go on "field trips" to the Newseum (First Amendment Center), Crime & Punishment Museum, Circuit Court, and "Baby Booking." The goal is to expose them to as many facets of the legal system and law-related careers as possible. During the Institute and Orientation, we also emphasize the "soft skills" necessary to workplace success - time management, communication, professional dress, language, and self-accountability.
Aug 3, 2012
Dunbar High School Student at Law Links Program:
Law Links program opens students minds to the world of law
What do you think?
1 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
Thank you, Doni, for bringing attention to this wonderful program. We are always looking for employers and interns to participate so that the experiences that you discribe can be multiplied.