The MSBA Young Lawyers Section (YLS) is in the developing stages of an Adopt-a-School program that aims to provide a Baltimore City school the books and supplies that will enable the students the ability to succeed.
“There are children in need at local schools,” says Michael Siri, YLS Chair.
“These children need books.”
Some schools do not have suitable libraries for the children. In such
schools, the Section wants to raise the funds that would help start a
library, with the intention of affording the students in these schools the
same opportunities as others.
The Section, Siri explains, “wants to give back to the community, through
both legal and non-legal means.” The program being built focuses on
identifying schools that are in need of books.
The YLS was looking for ways to help the community when the need for books
and libraries was brought to its attention. Section members were strongly in
favor of helping out the needy schools.
The initial goal of the organizing committee is to determine the schools
which are in need. The YLS will then choose which schools are the best
candidates for the program. For now, the focus remains on Baltimore City
schools, though the Section hopes to target schools throughout the state
once the program gains momentum. To this end, the YLS wants to use the
county circuit representatives to help identify the schools across the
state. The YLS would also like to involve local bar associations.
“One of the goals of the Young Lawyers is to become mentors,” notes Siri.
“This is one of the ways.” The idea also allows for the YLS to become closer
to the students they help.
In recent years, the YLS has focused on mentoring programs. Through the Pro
Bono Mentoring Program and “We the Jury”, the YLS builds programs to spread
awareness of the legal profession. The Pro Bono Mentoring Program partners
older lawyers with lawyers new to the profession to work on pro bono cases
through the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland. “We the Jury” – a program
developed by the Texas Young Lawyers and adopted by the ABA – places lawyers
in the schools to work with high school students. It teaches the students
the history and importance of the jury system.
“The [“We the Jury”] program creates opportunities for attorneys to become
involved, without having to put it together themselves,” Siri explains. The
materials are furnished by the ABA.
The YLS supports as well as creates such opportunities (“We the
Jury”/”Adopt-a-School”) to allow lawyers to educate themselves as well as
today’s youth in the law and its importance.