Miami, FL Fifty students from Coral Gables Senior High School will participate in a multi-week educational law program and all-day conference on November 3, 2009 at the downtown Miami office of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod, as part of the second annual Legal Diversity Pipeline Program.
Founded in 2007, the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program is a joint partnership between two non-profit organizations that promote diversity in the legal profession: National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) and Street Law, Inc. The program partners selected law firms with nearby, diverse high school law classes in an effort to provide engagement and education between aspiring law students and real-world legal professionals.
Bilzin Sumberg is one of five firms across the country, and the only firm in the state of Florida, participating in this second year of the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program.
"We are honored and delighted to have been selected to participate in the Pipeline Program," said Marshall R. Pasternack, a Partner in the Corporate & Securities Group and Chair of the firm's Diversity and Culture committees. "Our participation in the program is indicative of our commitment to diversity and our willingness to seek new and innovative means of achieving that objective. The approximately 15 attorneys and paralegals involved in our efforts are thrilled by the opportunity to create a spark in these high school students."
During the multi-week program, Bilzin Sumberg staff will teach Coral Gables High School juniors and seniors enrolled in law classes about contract disputes, the Fourth Amendment, and real estate negotiations. Bilzin Sumberg professionals will also offer one-on-one mentorship and career advice to students with an interest to pursue the legal profession post-high school graduation.
The conference will reinforce lessons learned during the multi-week program and include a career fair for students to explore the wide array of jobs and practice areas in the field of law; interactive workshops, and a first-hand glimpse into the firm's business. The Legal Diversity Pipeline Program serves an important component in the movement to increase representation of women and minorities in the legal industry. By providing students the opportunity to participate in real-world legal situations and learn about the law from local legal professionals, the program opens young people to the possibility of a legal career and provides resources to pursue that path.
Bilzin Sumberg's participation in the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program is one of many pro-bono and charitable projects under the firms community outreach program Bilzin Sumberg Cares. Bilzin Sumberg Cares is a volunteer employee-based community program and the first and only of its kind in the South Florida legal community. Springing from the firm's desire to positively impact the community, the program has created the opportunity for attorneys and staff to work hand-in-hand to help shape the local community. Bilzin Sumberg Cares serves as a vehicle for the firm's support of non-profit organizations.
This program is a powerful experience for the high school students it gives them the opportunity to interact with legal professionals and sparks their interest in legal careers, according to Megan Hanson, program director at Street Law, Inc.
About Bilzin Sumberg
Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP is a full-service commercial law firm based in Florida. The firm has extensive experience in the areas of capital markets, corporate and securities, environmental, distressed property, government relations, land use and zoning, litigation, real estate, restructuring and bankruptcy, technology and telecommunications, tax and wealth transfer. For more information, visit: www.bilzin.com.
About Bilzin Sumberg Cares
Bilzin Sumberg Cares is Bilzin Sumberg's community outreach program, which aims to empower attorneys, staff and their family by providing them with the tools and assistance to benefit non-profit and charitable organizations throughout our community. A strong commitment to community has been the cornerstone of Bilzin Sumberg's corporate philosophy since its creation. Through a diverse roster of events, activities and organizations the entire Bilzin Sumberg team from partners to assistants dedicates their time and skills to assisting and enhancing the lives of others. For more information, visit: www.bilzin.com.
About Street Law
Street Law, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides practical, participatory education about law, democracy, and human rights. With a unique blend of content and methodology, Street Law, Inc. uses techniques that promote cooperative learning, critical thinking, and the ability to participate in a democratic society. For 35 years, Street Law, Inc.'s programs and curricula have promoted knowledge of legal rights and responsibilities, engagement in the democratic process, and belief in the rule of law, among both youth and adults. To learn more, visit: www.streetlaw.org.
About NALP Founded in 1971, the National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) is a nonprofit educational association of law schools and legal employers dedicated to facilitating legal career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students and lawyers.