July 13, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Law Center, Alumni Take High School Summer Law & Trial Institute Virtual for 2020

With the help of alumni and student mentors, the Center for Law, Justice & Culture is taking the Summer Law & Trial Institute online, bringing a summer experience in law to high school students, most of them from Southeastern Ohio.

The program, now in its fifth year, will run from July 19-27 using Microsoft Teams and will include support and mentoring from over two dozen Ohio University alumni and friends in legal fields.

Among the experiences that will be preserved in the online experience are:

  • A virtual visit to the Supreme Court of Ohio, where students will observe a live streamed oral argument before the court and meet with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor
  • A virtual field trip to the Athens County Court of Common Pleas to meet with Judge Patrick Lang (Lang was named to the Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni. See Notable Alumni | Patrick Lang, from Student Politician to Athens County Common Pleas Court Judge.)
  • A virtual visit to the ACLU of Ohio
  • The capstone mock trial, which will be held in a virtual courtroom
Larry Hayman, portrait

Larry Hayman

OHIO alumnus and attorney Larry Hayman, who serves as Ohio University’s pre-law advisor, launched the program in 2016 and has served as the program director since.

“The program has proven to be such a transformative experience for so many students since we started it that, when the pandemic began, we immediately began exploring options to be able to host it virtually. After meeting with the Office of Instructional Innovation, Office of Information Technology, and many others, I became convinced that we could provide a quality program that would achieve the programs’ objectives virtually,” Hayman said.

Marisa Saber

Marisa Saber

Chicago-based attorney and OHIO alumna Marisa Saber, who will serve as a judge during the capstone mock trial experience, understands the power of having strong mentors. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2003.

“Experienced lawyers that took the time to mentor me and help develop my advocacy skills made all the difference in my success as a trial lawyer,” Saber says. “I am excited to help these young people further advance their knowledge of law and legal proceedings, public speaking, and most importantly, in gaining confidence. Hopefully, they will be able to take the skills they develop on with them to college and maybe even fall in love with trial advocacy and become lawyers themselves.”

The Summer Law & Trial Institute is designed to enhance the students’ understanding of the law and American legal system, explore access to justice issues, especially in Appalachia, and give them exposure to the legal profession and a collegiate experience. To apply, students must have a 3.0 GPA, write an essay expressing their interest in law and justice, and submit a letter of recommendation. Preference is given to rising high school juniors and seniors who come from Southeastern Ohio. This year, almost 70 students applied for 20 positions.

The program, free of cost to students, is made possible with generous support from the Athens County Bar Association and alumni contributors.


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