July 2, 2019 - Junior high school girls from across the Houston area were introduced to the law school experience recently at the University of Houston Law Center.
Ready to Rise is a law and leadership academy for girls presented by Ms. JD Determined to Rise, a nonprofit organization committed to the success of aspiring and new women attorneys.
The keynote speaker, Amanda Edwards of the Houston City Council, emphasized the importance of hard work, staying focused and being resilient during the gathering in June.
“It is very important that you understand the importance of dreaming big, having big goals,” Edwards said. “You have to first believe in yourself if you’re going to ever expect anybody to believe in you.
“When it comes to something about your goals or your dreams or your aspirations, you should never ever tell yourself no. Don’t count yourself out before you even begin your journey.”
Additional speakers were Chief Judge Lee Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas and 14th Court of Appeals Judge Frances Bourliot. They recounted each of their journeys to become a judge, and encouraged attendees to find determination within themselves when pursuing their dreams.
“While I was practicing law, I saw a lot of really great judges and I saw how magical their difference was that they made, and I saw really awful judges and I thought how bad that was for everybody,” Rosenthal said. “Both were inspiration for me.”
“I really started to feel like we were missing a different point of view on the courts,” Bourliot added. “The main reason why I do this is because I want to make our community and our society a better place for my son, for all of you and for everybody in the future.”
The final panel of the day, "What Are My Rights and Responsibilities?" discussed social media smarts, the truth about bullying, and immigration among other topics. Attendees also played a legal lingo bingo to familiarize themselves with frequently used terms in the profession.