Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Apr. 26, 2007
Image for Lawyer-Teacher Partnership
Photograph by Chuck Chaney
MBA Secretary Edward W. McIntyre (left) and Littleton High School teacher Marian Dyer attended the Partnership training last week.

MBA links the law with the classroom thanks to an innovative partnership

More than 16 high schools are enrolled in the Massachusetts Bar Association’s pilot program, the Lawyer-Teacher Partnership, for the 2007-08 school year. The Lawyer-Teacher Partnership pairs attorneys with teachers of high school law-related courses to invigorate the classes and familiarize students with the civil justice system, as well as expose them to possible careers in the law.

The partnership is an outgrowth of the MBA's re-energized focus on law-related education efforts, a goal of MBA President Mark D Mason.

To achieve the MBA’s outreach goals for the program, lawyer-teacher teams attended a day-long training last month at Bentley College in Waltham. The lawyer-teacher training was led by Lee Arbetman, the director of U.S. programs at Street Law Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting the knowledge of legal rights and responsibilities. Arbetman is also the co-author of the leading textbook for high school law classes, "Street Law: A Course in Practical Law."

“Lawyers and teachers in the classroom have to approach the subject differently than those in math and science,” said Arbetman. “Where the sciences have explicit solutions, any discussion of law in the classroom is dominated by dynamic outcomes and a lot of gray area. Therefore, the whole approach to legal education takes on a different look.”

Mason, himself a participant in the Lawyer-Teacher Partnership, emphasized the importance of legal education in the community during the training session. “Not only are we well-served by being actively involved in the Lawyer-Teacher Partnership, we help ourselves in maintaining a citizenry that is knowledgeable of the civil justice system,” he said.

To learn more or to volunteer for the Lawyer-Teacher Partnership program, contact the MBA Community Services Department at (617) 338-0695 or [e-mail communityservices].

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