What do college students - especially minority students - think of the legal profession? Would they consider the law as a career?
These questions will be the subject of a student outreach program sponsored by the MBA and American Bar Association on Nov. 9 at Hampshire College. Students of color from the so-called "five colleges" (Hampshire, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Amherst and University of Massachusetts at Amherst) have been invited to participate.
The goal of the conference is to engage these students in discussions about the legal profession, in the hope that they would consider attending law school, thereby increasing the diversity of the profession.
The program builds on a dialogue the MBA and ABA began with students of color from these schools last spring. It will offer the students an opportunity to hear about the roles individuals with legal training play in everyday society and provide them the opportunity to talk with lawyers and judges.
This model program is being rolled out in North Carolina and Massachusetts this fall. If it is successful, the ABA will undertake similar programs in partnership with other state bar associations across the country.
At the Nov. 9 program, a panel of lawyers will represent different parts of the profession and a panel of students will give their views of the law and lawyers.
Minority bars have been invited to host exhibits at the event so the students can obtain information about the state's wide range of bar programs, services and networking opportunities once they become attorneys.