Brooklyn Law School hosts inaugural Youth Law Day

March 9, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A student and Professor Bennett Capers. Photos courtesy of Brooklyn Law School
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Brooklyn Law School (BLS) recently welcomed 91 students, teachers and administrators from six Brooklyn high schools as part of Youth Law Day. This program, created by the New York State Bar Association’s Special Committee on Youth Outreach, was created to “expose young minority students to the great potential of a law-related career.”

Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School, Midwood High School, New Utrecht High School, St. Joseph’s High School, Secondary School for Law and Urban Action Academy all participated, with students taking part in a hypothetical trial, panel discussions and a Q&A session.

Youth Law Day was also part of the Law School Admission Council’s Months, running January through March, which promotes education and awareness to young people in racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the legal professions. 

BLS Professor Bennett Capers walked the students through a hypothetical case, where a student took the stand and another group acted as a jury. 

“The students were absolutely amazing — although they were high school students, it was clear that I was speaking to future patent lawyers, future family law lawyers, future prosecutors and defense lawyers, and future corporate lawyers,” Capers said. “I can think of few things more rewarding personally than encouraging such talent.”

The program also included a panel discussion featuring Professors Capers and Jodi Balsam, as well as BLS alum and entertainment lawyer Rob Thony, and BLS students Desiree Alexander and Tahir Boykins.

“As Brooklyn’s only law school, we are a natural fit for introducing our borough’s high schoolers to the legal profession,” Balsam said. “And it was gratifying to be able to answer their questions about what it takes to pursue a career in the law.”

Adjunct professor and entertainment lawyer Vernon Brown moderated the panel, which focused on the various paths to a career in the law and what students should be doing now to prepare them for law school and beyond. The day concluded with lunch with current BLS student volunteers, where they had opportunity to ask further questions about student life, academics and other topics.

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