More than 120 high school students from the Long Island area participated in Hofstra Law School’s second annual Youth Law Day last Friday – a 50% increase in the number of students from last year.
The goal of the program was to introduce students, particularly those from minority and at-risk backgrounds, to careers in the legal field. Participating schools included Uniondale High School, Hempstead High School, Roosevelt High School and students in the police science program at Nassau County Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
“We want to inspire young people to pursue higher education, both in college and beyond, and to pique their interest in legal careers,” said Jeffrey A. Dodge, the organizer of Youth Law Day and Hofstra Law School Assistant Dean for Administration and Operations. “Our hope is that Youth Law Day will encourage these students to consider career paths in the legal profession that will positively impact their communities and society as a whole.”
Youth Law Day was organized last year in coordination with the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Minorities in the Profession, the New York Bar Foundation, and LatinoJustice PRLDEF (Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund). The template for the program was repeated again for this year with support from the Law School Admission Council’s Discover Law Diversity Outreach program.
The day began with a welcome by Marc Gann, President-Elect of the Nassau County Bar Association and Partner at Collins, McDonald & Gann, PC. Lance D. Clarke, former Justice of the Town of Hempstead and immediate past president of the Nassau County Bar Association, was Youth Law Day’s Keynote Speaker for the second year.
Throughout the day, the students also participated in discussions with Hofstra University professors, students, alumni and staff. Topics included the skills necessary for college and law school and diverse careers in the law. The students also received tours of the law school and the Hofstra University campus.