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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Wiley Rein Hosts Legal Diversity Event for Local High School Students

May 1, 2014

As part of its ongoing effort to promote diversity in the legal profession, Wiley Rein welcomed high school students from The Academies at Anacostia in Washington, DC to its offices this week to learn first-hand what it means to be a lawyer.  The firm organized the event through its involvement with the NALP/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, which encourages high school students of all backgrounds to pursue careers in the law.

Attorneys from Verizon also participated in the event, joining Wiley Rein lawyers to lead workshops that enabled the Academies’ students to delve into contracts law and the Fourth Amendment.  The Contracts Workshop enabled students to negotiate a hypothetical endorsement deal on behalf of a shoe company and a high-profile athlete.  During the Fourth Amendment Workshop, students simulated a Supreme Court argument in a case involving the use of technology to search people’s homes without a warrant.

The students also attended a lunch with Wiley Rein and Verizon attorneys, and the firm’s professional and administrative staff.  The lunch provided the students with an opportunity to learn about legal careers and talk candidly to attorneys and staff about their career paths and backgrounds.  The conference drew positive feedback from the students, some of whom offered the following observations:

  • “Being a judge is complicated, and you can’t care as much about perception.”
  • “Lawyers are not always uptight.”
  • “When you’re a lawyer, you have to be prepared to answer questions.”
  • “Don’t give up—keep moving forward.”

The program, created by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) and Street Law Inc., pairs law firms with high schools in their communities.  Attorney volunteers work with a diverse group of talented young people, teaching them about legal concepts, offering social support, and introducing them to career paths in the field of law.

Wiley Rein’s involvement with NALP/Street Law builds upon the firm’s long history of helping its attorneys share their knowledge and experience with local students who are interested in pursuing legal careers.  For the past 11 years, Wiley Rein has hosted a Summer Law Day event for students from Thurgood Marshall Academy, a public charter high school in Washington, DC.