Last week, volunteers visited 31 classrooms in 10 Boston schools to teach
over 650 students the legacy and impact of John Adams on the legal
This year's theme was "The Legacy of John Adams - From Boston to
Guantanamo." With teaching materials designed by the 2011 Public Interest
Leadership Program (PILP), students were introduced to the lasting legacy of
We caught up with a few of this week's volunteers:
Darren L. Braham - Ropes & Gray LLP
I am part of
this year's PILP class, and we were tasked with drafting the lesson plan for the
elementary, middle, and high schools. I drafted the elementary lesson plan, and
wanted to teach a lesson to the 2nd graders. High school kids scare me!
The kids were great. It was fun to hear their thoughts on what they think
lawyers do, and how we help people. It was interesting to see which kids were
more vocal and which ones kept quiet. The most memorable moment came when we
talked about "following the rules" in the classroom, and one student replied "No
spitballs!" John Adams would be proud.
Andrina Zink - Alkermes, Inc.
I enjoy working on
programs that have a direct impact on children. Law day is one program
where we, as skilled legal professionals, are able to utilize our expertise in
the law to educate and hopefully inspire young children.
This is the second year I've participated in Law Day. The Nathan Hale
School, its mission, the children, the teachers and its principal are an
inspiration. This is a school where the community cherishes education and
their gratitude of our time and efforts was apparent. I enjoyed creating
the lesson plan and interacting with the children.
Shaghayegh Tousi - Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
wanted to do my part to explain to younger students what lawyers actually do and
the importance of the US legal system. I think it's a great lesson for
kids to learn so when they are out in the real world, they have a slightly
better understanding of how great our justice system truly is, particularly
since it's not often portrayed so accurately.
Andrew Cohn - WilmerHale
I volunteer because Law Day is
always a super opportunity to encourage civic awareness and citizenship values
to public school students of all ages. This year, most unusually, I was
assigned a kindergarten class; which was a special challenge because
kindergartners do not have an extensive knowledge base about law, or
history. However, the kindergarten teachers were very enthusiastic and
helped focus discussion in the "growing edge" areas where they knew their
classes would be receptive.
Dallas N. Cruz - Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
was younger, I "knew" I wanted to be a lawyer based upon the portrayals I saw on
television and in books, but I never had the chance to meet a lawyer or interact
with one until I was much older. I'm a young minority woman and I think it
is important for young kids, especially inner-city students, to see diversity in
the profession. I chose to volunteer so that I could serve as an example
of what lawyers look like in our evolving society and perhaps be that first
interaction with a lawyer for some of the students.
David Deakin - Suffolk County District Attorney's
I volunteered because I think that it is extremely important
for lawyers to meet and interact with students. The law has such a
profound impact on all of our lives -- lawyers and non-lawyers alike -- and I
think that it is critical for our newest citizens to understand and appreciate
the law, its impact, and their role in shaping it.