Law Links Returns
~MSBA's 2004 student/law firm internship welcomes 44 high
By Janet Stidman
This summer, 44 high school
students from Baltimore City, Prince George’s County and the lower Eastern
Shore will serve as Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Law Links
student interns in law firms and law-related agencies in these respective
jurisdictions. Five students on the Eastern Shore, 10 in Prince George’s
County and 29 in Baltimore City have signed up for MSBA’s innovative
summer student/law firm internship that links attorneys with local high
school students in an educational and professional setting.
MSBA sponsors this youth
program every year as a public service. Through Law Links, high school
juniors and seniors work as law firm interns and are paid for eight weeks
of summer employment by the law firms and law-related agencies. The
students are given time off with pay every week to participate in the
educational component of the internship, the Law and Leadership Institute.
The educational component makes MSBA’s summer internship program unique
because it is both a summer job and a comprehensive learning experience in
which young people may discover what it’s like to work in the professional
The Citizenship Law-Related
Education Program (CLREP), MSBA’s educational arm in the schools, presents
the Law and Leadership Institute and serves as Law Links’ administrator to
offer the interns professional educational and training skills. The
Institute focuses on everything from workplace issues, career goals and
cultural diversity to communication skills and business etiquette. CLREP’s
staff guides and mentors the interns, sponsors field trips and invites
prominent judges, attorneys and other officials to address the interns.
Law Links is an educational
experience that prepares young people for college and the professional
business world. To date, over 535 high school students have participated
in this summer law firm internship since its inception in 1994. Many have
gone on to college and a few have selected law as a career.
Over 500 law firms and
law-related agencies have supported and participated in Law Links as well,
in addition to many bar leaders and members of the Law Links Committee
that plans the internship each year. All of these legal volunteers have
found the experience to be most worthwhile. Many serve as mentors to the
young people and keep in touch after the internship concludes each August.
“This is an amazing
program,” states Ellery “Rick” Miller, Jr., CLREP’s Executive Director.
“We take high school students who have never worked in a professional
setting before and help them acquire the communication and business skills
they need to excel in the professional world. They succeed. Law Links’
success rate is truly phenomenal. Since 1994, the program has had a 98
percent success rate, which is a great record for any group of employees.”
In addition to the Maryland
State Bar Association, sponsors for the 2004 Law Links program include the
Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, the Bar Association Insurance Trust
and the Baltimore Bar Foundation.
This MSBA public service
program is an excellent working, educational and career-developing
experience for young people. It is one of the few youth summer jobs
programs in the area that provides a professional setting for youth
employment, offering interns a well-rounded, professional experience. Over
the years, Law Links’ success has gained widespread recognition in the
community and this is evident in its newest supporters.