Columbus Students Learning About Law and Leadership
This summer, while many kids are at the pool, some Columbus students are at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law preparing for life outside of high school. They are participating in the Law and Leadership Institute summer program where they are being introduced to law and the justice system.
“The role is really to prepare them for entry into college,” said Kathy Northern, LLI site administrator. “The students get introduced to a way of thinking that may not be something they are introduced to in high school, and that really is kind of the critical analysis, problem solving and approach that is used in law school to train students.”
The Law and Leadership Institute is a four-year, statewide initiative that collaborates with the legal community to help students from underserved areas learn skills that may help them become leaders in their communities; working on professional, analytical thinking, problem solving, and writing skills.
The institute began in 2008 as a summer program at law schools in two cities serving 40 students. It has grown into a year-round program at eight of Ohio’s nine law schools. The ninth law school provides off-site program support. More than 400 students across the state participate in the institute program.
“I think it will put me a step or two ahead when it comes down to being in my freshman year in college, and I just think it just puts me a step ahead because there’s things you learn here that you don’t learn in high school,” said Taylor Moss.
Moss, a junior, said she’s enjoyed meeting so many teens with similar interests and said her favorite part was interning at a law firm.
Ares Harper, who is not sure whether he wants to go into law or theater when he graduates from high school, said his favorite activity was participating in a mock trial.
“With the program, we actually get to learn what a trial is like. And so we learn the whole steps to a procedure and we learn different stuff with the law, and I think that’s just the part I kind of fell in love with,” Harper said.
Both students said the institute has provided them opportunities outside the classroom that they could not get elsewhere.
“Often students are not discouraged but not really encouraged to aspire as high as they might otherwise aspire, and that’s our goal is to get the students to see that their capabilities are very high and that they go far,” Northern said.
The summer institute program ends July 26.