Unique pre-law summer program has begun

Approximately 75 judges and lawyers will join the American Bar Association Council of Legal Education Opportunity, Oakland University, and Thomas M. Cooley Law School to help diversify America's next generation of lawyers by providing an intensive, pre-law program free of charge to undergraduate student this summer from several universities around the country.

The program, which began June 1 at Cooley's Auburn Hills campus, started with keynote speaker Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly of the Michigan Supreme Court.

"This is a great example of how lawyers and judges can join together with legal educators to address one of the most pressing challenges faced by the legal profession, which is to open our ranks so that the profession reflects the increasing diversity of the clients we serve," said John Nussbaumer, associate dean of the Auburn Hills campus.

"Together, we hope to inspire and prepare these students for the rigors of securing admission to law school, graduating, and passing the bar examination," he said.

Ten bar association are sponsoring luncheons and career exploration programs to help the students learn about the legal profession, including the Arab American Bar Association, Association of Black Judges, Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan, and the Straker and Wolverine Bar Associations, whose membership includes African American lawyers in Oakland and Wayne Counties.

The program will conclude on June 30 with closing ceremony remarks by former Detroit Mayor and ABA Past-President Dennis Archer, and with a Michigan Court of Appeals oral argument, thanks to the efforts of Judge Cynthia D. Stephens.

CLEO Sophomore Summer Institute

Schedule of speakers

June 7 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 8 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Federal Bar Association Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 9 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Oakland County Bar Association Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 10 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Macomb County Bar Association Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 14 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Arab American Bar Association Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 15 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 17 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 18 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Association of Black Judges of Michigan Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 21 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Straker Bar Association Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 22 (12 p.m. -1 p.m.): Wolverine Bar Association Luncheon and Panel Presentation.

June 30 (11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.): Dennis Archer will deliver the graduation speech to the students who successfully complete the program.

The Michigan Court of Appeals also will hear an oral argument in a real case that the students have used for legal writing and appellate advocacy exercises.

Published: Thu, Jun 3, 2010

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