Organization: Citizen Schools
WilmerHale has been a Citizen Schools partner for a long time. When I joined the firm in 2010, I heard about the Legal Apprenticeship Program, a mock trial program the firm participates in that is run by Citizen Schools and Discovering Justice. It sounded like a great program, so I signed up immediately. I have done it every year since then and I’ve gotten a lot out of this experience both personally and professionally.
Personally, it has been extremely inspiring to see how hard the students work and how much they learn over the course of the semester. This is especially true when I work with students who initially don’t seem interested in the program or have a lot of confidence in themselves. They are the ones that very often end up being the superstars by the end of the semester.
Professionally, participating in this program has made me a better lawyer. Going through the exercise of explaining the law to middle school students forces me to make sure that I understand the law myself and gives me practice explaining the law to non-lawyer audiences, which is one of the most important courtroom skills a lawyer can have. I’m very thankful to Citizen Schools for creating such a great opportunity to get involved in young peoples’ lives, and I highly encourage others to become Citizen Teachers – it’s one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have!
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit www.citizenschools.org.