Dec. 10, 2015 —University of Houston Law Center alumni and lawyers from the firm of Jones Day Houston recently brought a group of middle school students from Pilgrim Academy to the school to encourage interest in education and the legal profession as part of an after-school mentoring program, Pathways to Law.
Assistant Professor D. Theodore Rave, who talked to the 13 visiting students about the law, law school, and how to get there, was approached by Nicole Perry, a UHLC alumna and Jones Day associate, with the idea of bringing the students to the Law Center.
Rave, Perry, and Jaime West Dillon, UHLC assistant dean for admissions, worked together to make the visit possible.
“These kids are much younger, but their visit seemed to be in the same spirit as the dean’s new Pre-Law Pipeline Program,” Rave said, referring to a summer program that introduces undergraduates to the study of law and a legal career.
In addition to seeing what a law school looks like, the purpose of the visit was to teach students about the opportunities a higher education can offer, how to prepare for law school, what a legal education entails, and what lawyers actually do.
The students also heard from Rave’s law students, Diane Meyers, Peyton Craig, and Barbara Light, about the life of a law student and ended the visit with a tour of the school.
Jones Day, a global law firm, is the major sponsor behind the Pathways to Law program in which lawyers spend 11 weeks each semester working with students of Pilgrim Academy, a special school designed to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in high school and college.
“Pathways to Law is a terrific program that gets the kids out of their comfort zones and gives them exposure to opportunities that they otherwise might not have known existed,” said Rave. “I’m thrilled that the Law Center was able to participate and hopefully give them a little extra motivation. The kids are smart, driven, and enthusiastic; I think many of them will go a long way.”
After the success of the first visit, Rave, Perry, and members of the admissions office are planning to bring a group of students back in the spring to sit in on a class.