Thirty-four Rickard and FSUS high school students joined members on the local legal community on Thursday, April 14, 2016 for the First Annual Leon County Public School Legal Initiative. The full-day event was held at the FSU College of Law Advocacy Center. Judges, lawyers, law students, and quasi-legal professionals welcomed students as they began their day of being introduced to the diverse legal profession. Activities included a tour of the las school, mock trial, arguments, lunch and a speed networking event with guest panelists from the local legal community.
Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons stopped by to welcome the students and praise them for taking advantage of this opportunity, especially those who did not have to attend school and could have slept in due to testing that day. “I applaud the Tallahassee Bar Association for hosting the First Annual Leon County Public School Initiative. This forum provided our students with such a valuable experience to learn about future legal career paths. Leon County Schools strives to provide abundant opportunities for our students to explore future career choices and this program was a great avenue for that type of exchange of information to occur.”
Rickard High School Junior Shawn Holloway said, “The experience I took from the legal initiative last week was illuminating. It was my honor to go to the event, I learned a lot about what you can do with a law degree and it opened my eyes to new career choices when I go to college. I’d like to thank Ms. Coleman and everyone else who made that event possible and I look forward to attending next year.”
Event Chair Jami Coleman said, “The Leon County Public Schools Legal Initiative with the Tallahassee Bar Association and the Florida Bar Diversity Initiative was a success. The purpose of the program was to expose high school students to the diversity of the legal profession. The program allowed the students to get up close and personal with diverse attorneys in age, race, gender, and practice. It’s right in line with the reason I became an attorney, to give back to my community. So I was honored to be part of this inaugural event and I hope that more schools and students will participate next year.” The event was made possible from a diversity grant Tallahassee Bar Association applied for and was awarded from The Florida Bar.