PORTLAND and AUGUSTA, Maine, and MANCHESTER, N.H. — Nearly 70 students from Casco Bay High School participated in a hands-on educational law conference on Dec. 9, at University of Maine School of Law in Portland. Bernstein Shur attorneys led the conference, along with Maine Law students, using curriculum from the National Association for Law Placement and Street Law.
The event, part of the NALP/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, is an effort to promote diversity in the legal profession, for the second year was the only program of its kind offered in Maine or New England. The program, funded by The Goldberg Foundation and Bernstein Shur, partners law firms with diverse high school classes in an effort to engage the students, teach them about civil law and encourage students to consider careers in the legal profession.
Students participated in highly interactive sessions covering contract law, the first amendment and the fourth amendment. During the sessions, they negotiated a mock shoe endorsement deal, created a school policy on religious expression and held a mock hearing on using technology to search peoples’ homes without a warrant.
“This program is a terrific way to educate students about the legal profession and careers in law,” said Charles Miller, Bernstein Shur’s CEO. “As a community member and former educator, I believe it is vital that our firm participate in programs that encourage diversity in the law field. I am proud that Bernstein Shur collaborated with the Maine Law School, NALP and Casco Bay High School in enabling this program to occur.”
Bernstein Shur is one of only 10 law firms across the country participating in the program, and the only firm of its size to have ever offered such a conference. Locally, the conference was organized by Bernstein Shur, University of Maine School of Law and Casco Bay High School.
Participating attorneys were: Asha Echeverria, Willette Elder ,Joan Fortin, Katherine Knox, Charles Miller, Daniel Murphy, Shana Cook Mueller
John M.R. Paterson, Jaimie Schwartz, Helen Sterling, Kelsey Wilcox.
About Bernstein Shur
Widely regarded as one of New England’s most entrepreneurial law firms, Bernstein Shur has more than 100 attorneys in offices in Maine and New Hampshire. Founded in 1915, the firm provides practical and innovative counsel in the areas of business law, litigation, and municipal law to clients throughout the region and around the world. Bernstein Shur is Maine’s exclusive member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms. More information is available at www.bernsteinshur.com.
About Street Law
Street Law is a nonprofit organization that creates classroom and community programs to teach people about law, democracy and human rights worldwide. Street Law program participants benefit from “real-life” lessons and insights, which they can use to effect positive change for the rest of their lives. Accessible, engaging, and interactive programs empower students and communities to become active, legally-savvy contributors to society.
About National Association for Law Placement
Founded in 1971, the National Association for Law Placement, Inc. 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.