Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin

July, 2004

MSBA Law Links Returns
~MSBA's 2004 student/law firm internship welcomes 44 high school students~
By Janet Stidman Eveleth

This summer, 44 high school students from Baltimore City, Prince George’s County and the lower Eastern Shore will serve as Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Law Links student interns in law firms and law-related agencies in these respective jurisdictions. Five students on the Eastern Shore, 10 in Prince George’s County and 29 in Baltimore City have signed up for MSBA’s innovative summer student/law firm internship that links attorneys with local high school students in an educational and professional setting.

MSBA sponsors this youth program every year as a public service. Through Law Links, high school juniors and seniors work as law firm interns and are paid for eight weeks of summer employment by the law firms and law-related agencies. The students are given time off with pay every week to participate in the educational component of the internship, the Law and Leadership Institute. The educational component makes MSBA’s summer internship program unique because it is both a summer job and a comprehensive learning experience in which young people may discover what it’s like to work in the professional world.

The Citizenship Law-Related Education Program (CLREP), MSBA’s educational arm in the schools, presents the Law and Leadership Institute and serves as Law Links’ administrator to offer the interns professional educational and training skills. The Institute focuses on everything from workplace issues, career goals and cultural diversity to communication skills and business etiquette. CLREP’s staff guides and mentors the interns, sponsors field trips and invites prominent judges, attorneys and other officials to address the interns.

Law Links is an educational experience that prepares young people for college and the professional business world. To date, over 535 high school students have participated in this summer law firm internship since its inception in 1994. Many have gone on to college and a few have selected law as a career.

Over 500 law firms and law-related agencies have supported and participated in Law Links as well, in addition to many bar leaders and members of the Law Links Committee that plans the internship each year. All of these legal volunteers have found the experience to be most worthwhile. Many serve as mentors to the young people and keep in touch after the internship concludes each August.

“This is an amazing program,” states Ellery “Rick” Miller, Jr., CLREP’s Executive Director. “We take high school students who have never worked in a professional setting before and help them acquire the communication and business skills they need to excel in the professional world. They succeed. Law Links’ success rate is truly phenomenal. Since 1994, the program has had a 98 percent success rate, which is a great record for any group of employees.”

In addition to the Maryland State Bar Association, sponsors for the 2004 Law Links program include the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, the Bar Association Insurance Trust and the Baltimore Bar Foundation.

This MSBA public service program is an excellent working, educational and career-developing experience for young people. It is one of the few youth summer jobs programs in the area that provides a professional setting for youth employment, offering interns a well-rounded, professional experience. Over the years, Law Links’ success has gained widespread recognition in the community and this is evident in its newest supporters.



Publications : Bar Bulletin: July, 2004

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