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The Justice & Diversity Center

Youth Diversity Pipeline Programs
Volunteer Opportunities

1L Open Doors Job Shadowing Program
Host a law student during spring break
Teaming with local law schools, BASF/JDC established this program in 2015 to open doors to first year law students looking for early exposure to practitioners and legal professionals.  During the three day shadowing, students can be exposed to client meetings, courtroom proceedings, firm meetings, and other activities that expose the inner workings of a law firm.

Commitment: Host a law student in your office for three days during spring break.

Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship
Law students benefit from a mentor/mentee relationship
The Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship program was established in 1998 to reaffirm a
commitment to diversity in legal education and the legal profession.  BASF/JDC teamed with individuals and legal organizations to provide substantial three-year, need-based scholarships to qualified students who attend Bay Area law schools. The vast majority of scholarships awarded are $10,000 annually.

Commitment: Mentor a law student scholarship recipient by assisting with them with their
writing, editing and research skills. Contributions to scholarships are always welcome by contacting Steve Love, director of Donor and Community Engagement at slove@sfbar.org.

Day in Court
Limited commitment offers students court behind-the-scenes access
In cooperation with the San Francisco Superior Court, the Day in Court Program takes students from the classroom to the courtroom, allowing them to witness first-hand the trial of civil cases. Committee members act as tour guides for the classes, providing the teachers and chaperones with a calendar of trials scheduled for that day and giving the class a brief orientation.

Commitment: 4-hours per visit

Destination Law School
Share your law school experience with undergraduates pondering law school
Destination Law School is a diversity pipeline program for minority college students interested
in attending law school and becoming a lawyer. Share your experience of law school with diverse students considering a career in law, including:

• How to navigate the law school application process
• What a first-year law class is like.
• The lawyer’s perspective on career options for lawyers
• What to expect on the LSAT examination

Commitment: Participate on two-hour panel presentations at college campuses in the Bay Area in fall and spring.

Law Academy
Summer internship gives students meaningful work experience
The San Francisco Law Academy is a yearlong program that encourages and increases career
opportunities for diverse, underserved students in Balboa High School in San Francisco.  The curriculum is built into core classes where students learn basic legal concepts.

Program includes paid internships and field trips for students. Started in 1997 by then BASF president Judge Jeffrey Ross, the program inspires students to realize personal strengths that they may not otherwise discover.

Commitment: Participate in a classroom presentation on various aspects of the law and organize a “Day in the Firm” where students visit for a tour. Special need is for a paid six-week summer internship for students, giving them exposure to a business environment.

LGBT Youth Program
Visit local high schools and share the challenges of being an LGBT student

This program utilizes volunteer lawyers to speak with students at local high schools’ LGBT alliance groups, juvenile halls, and LGBT related nonprofits about their backgrounds, the steps it took to become an attorney, and some of the challenges they’ve faced because they are LGBT.

Commitment: Participate on a one-hour panel presentation at high school campuses in the Bay Area in fall and spring.

Mock Trial
Form a team with colleagues or join an existing one
The program is an inter-scholastic competition where high school students try a hypothetical criminal
case, building their intellectual and communication skills while gaining an understanding of their obligations to our society. Each school fields a team of students to as lawyers, witnesses, and a timekeeper/bailiff. Most students are diverse and come from underserved schools.

Lawyers volunteer in the fall to coach the fundamentals of persuasive public speaking and evidence advocacy, demonstrate techniques, and critique the students in preparation for the city-wide competition in March.

Commitment: Coach 8-10 hours weekly during fall leading up to competition or; Score/judge
Competition in March, 2 hours

School-To-College
New volunteer opportunities coming in fall
STC is a year-long program that inspires 9-12 grade students in Academy of Arts & Science High School to graduate high school and attend college.  Plans are being formulated to offer STC students and their families enhanced legal information about immigration, housing, family law and many other related legal topics. School presentations are being planned, as well as a free legal clinic where volunteer attorneys will be needed to offer legal advice in their area of expertise.

Commitment: Two to three hours during a legal clinic in the fall and spring.

BASF Committees
Join one of the following four committees to help define policy while working with others on issues that affect us all:

 

To join a committee, visit https://sections.sfbar.org.

To volunteer or to learn more about BASF and JDC’s programs to build a diverse pipeline to the profession, contact Samantha Akwei at sakwei@sfbar.org.