BU Law, website partner to attract potential students

By Dan Henson

Baylor Law School is partnering with Discoverlaw.org to teach Waco area high school students about career opportunities in law professions.

As part of the partnership, the Baylor Law School will host Discoverlaw High School Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Waco High School, University High School, the McLennan County Challenge Academy and La Vega High School.

Jenny Branson, associate director of admissions and financial aid at the law school, decided to partner with Discoverlaw.org to organize the Discoverlaw High School Day events.

“I really wanted to help us get involved with the high schools,” Branson said.

According to Discoverlaw.org, the Law School Admission Council developed the Discoverlaw.org campaign to help racially and ethnically diverse students discover career opportunities in law and choose a path in undergraduate school to help them succeed.

Baylor Law School is funding Discoverlaw High School Day and will file for reimbursement from the Law School Admission Council, as they sponsor Discoverlaw.org events. Branson said the event’s costs would be minimal, as they include only the cost of copies of the presentations and pizza and sodas for the roughly 100 high school students that will attend.

“We are sending 3 to 5 Baylor Law students each into four Waco area high schools,” Branson said.

These law students will be giving presentations to about 100 students from across these four Waco-area high schools.

They will use PowerPoint presentations that have been provided to them by Discoverlaw.org.

These presentations are starting points for their discussions of what it means to be in law school, what it means to be a lawyer, what study skills they will need to be successful in law school, as well as what career opportunities are available to them in the field.

“This kind of work is helpful for law students, in that they get to share their enthusiasm for what they do. Law School has a tendency to be a little dis-heartening,” Frisco second-year law student Jessica Vittorio said. “I have done some pro-bono work with Baylor that really reminds me of why I want to be a lawyer.”

The law students’ presentations will be followed by a pizza party, during which the high school students can ask the law students any questions they may have about law school, or what life is like as a law students.

“Aside from the PowerPoint, we are just going to be sitting down, having a panel discussion with the students,” Vittorio said.

The high school students will receive access and introduction to additional Discoverlaw.org materials.

Branson said the high school students are going to register for the Discoverlaw website, which will give them access to helpful information about the law, including video interviews of famous lawyers.

They will also receive copies of the law students’ PowerPoint presentations, as well as handouts, and a gift from Discoverlaw.org.

“I hope it will get some high school students interested in careers in the law,” Branson said. “Hopefully, way on down the line, they will think of Baylor Law School.”