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Law School Welcomes Summer Legal Institute With Reception

JULY 6, 2009—The University of Minnesota Law School and Just the Beginning Foundation (JTBF) are hosting a reception for the first annual Twin Cities Summer Legal Institute on July 9, 2009.

The Summer Legal Institute is part of JTBF’s Pipeline Programming, intended to support diverse young students in pursuing higher education and to help lay the foundation for success in school and beyond. It introduces 28 Minnesota high-school students, JTBF Scholars, to the legal profession and its opportunities.

The seven-day program consists of classroom lectures, lessons in basic legal research and writing, panel discussions by judges and attorneys, and field trips to area law firms, government offices, and state and federal courthouses. In addition, students gain experience in oral advocacy through mock trials.

At the end of the Summer Legal Institute program, parents attend a closing ceremony recognizing their children’s accomplishments. JTBF Scholars take away experiences that are helpful and applicable in any college curriculum as well as skills, resources, and the confidence to pursue a career in law.

The sponsors of this program are Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Faegre & Benson LLP, Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP, Schiff Hardin LLP, UnitedHealth Group, General Mills, Thrivent Financial, Perkins Coie LLP, and the Council on Legal Educational Opportunities.

JTBF was inspired by a celebration honoring Judge James Parsons, the first African-American U.S. District Court Judge, on his retirement. It was founded in 1992 in Chicago as a multiracial nonprofit organization of judges, lawyers, and citizens to preserve the rich experiences of judges and lawyers of color. Its focus evolved to emphasize programs that open opportunities for young persons from diverse backgrounds. At the Law School, JTBF offers students resources and assistance in career choices as well as an externship and clerkship program.

The Summer Legal Institute is being hosted for the first time in 2009 in the Twin Cities; Seattle; Jackson, Miss.; and Washington, D.C. It is entering its fourth year in Chicago.

A casual reception for the Summer Legal Institute will be held July 9 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Law School’s Auerbach Commons.

Please RSVP to Melissa Bergsten at bergs348@umn.edu if you plan to attend.