Bar celebrates Judicial Youth Corps graduates

Issue September 2013 By Jason M. Scally

Dozens of lawyers, judges and court personnel joined students and their families to celebrate Judicial Youth Corps Appreciation Day at the John Adams Courthouse on Aug. 16.

This year, 24 students from Boston and Worcester completed the Supreme Judicial Court's Youth Corps (JYC) program, which gives urban high school students an opportunity to experience the judicial system and learn about the law through educational sessions and hands-on internships in the courts. A mock trial and a reception marked the culmination of this year's program.

The SJC first established the summer program in Boston in 1991. The Massachusetts Bar Association has partnered with the SJC since 2007 to expand the program to Worcester. This year marked the first time that the Worcester program featured students from public, private and charter schools, said attorney James Rosseel, who led the Worcester program.

Speaking on behalf of the MBA, Immediate Past President Robert L. Holloway Jr. congratulated the students and thanked the volunteers and sponsors, including the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the primary sponsor of the Worcester program.

"While our reception marks the end of this year's program, today we also celebrate the future of our legal profession," said Holloway. "Whether the young men and women of our program today go on to become judges, lawyers, or clerks - or whether they choose a different career path - we know their Judicial Youth Corps experience has opened a lifetime appreciation of the law and its processes."

Two members of this year's program addressed the room, which included several former JYC students, and shared what they learned from their summer experience. "The JYC gave me an opportunity to experience what few high school students ever experience," said Samantha Singh, a student in the Boston JYC program. Worcester JYC student Konstantinos Tekelis added of his experience, "I got a real inside look into the working world and how the law works."

Although SJC Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland, a longtime supporter of the JYC program, was unable to attend the reception, attorney Gerald Howland, who ran the Boston program, said that everyone just had to look at the chief justice's smile in the JYC program photos that were displayed around the room to understand Ireland's affinity for the program and its students.