On March 14, 2014, the University of Washington School of Law hosted a group of over 90 high school students from around Washington State for its first ever "Law Academy." In partnership with the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, Rise UP/GEAR UP! and DiscoverLaw.org, UW Law hosted the students to a day-long program, introducing them to judges, attorneys, professors and law students, and providing them with information about a legal education and career.
“Hosting the Law Academy was a great opportunity to bring attorneys, judges, professors, and law students together for the day to inspire the next generation of students to consider a legal career," said Lisa Castilleja, Assistant Director of UW Law's Center for Professional and Leadership Development. "Our volunteers had as much fun as the students and it was great to see the collaboration between the students and legal volunteers during the mini-mock trial session. The support from the law school's alumni and the legal community was amazing and demonstrated their commitment to diversifying the legal community.”
The program included a career Q&A, an overview of the pathway from high school to law school and a mini-mock trial, with volunteers coaching the students on how to build a case and deliver arguments. Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven C. Gonzalez delivered the keynote address.
"It’s important to engage students at an early age about a career in law, especially those from diverse backgrounds," said Sehee Thomas, Associate Director of Admissions. "This is an area of importance for UW Law as we work to educate future leaders who can meet the needs of our increasingly diverse country."