Students from the David Starr Jordan High School and Woodrow Wilson Senior High School, located in South and East Los Angeles, visited Pepperdine University School of Law on Monday, March 9, and had an in-depth law school experience. The twenty-eight students participated in a law class and heard from Antonin Scalia, associate justice of the United States, who spoke in conversation with School of Law Dean Ken Starr.
The students learned about the building blocks of oral advocacy in a class taught by Professor Christine Goodman. Afterward, they heard Scalia speak on a variety of legal topics, including how the Supreme Court has changed over the years.
The event was facilitated by Burton Rojas, Pepperdine's coordinator of diversity, recruitment, and student services, who worked in conjunction with student groups such as the Latin American Law Student Association and the Black Law Student Association.
"It's so important for law students to reach out and help those who desire to have a profession in the law," Rojas says. "The high school students who attended often face low expectations and a high education failure rate. Our goal is to help any student who has the desire to further his or her education. None of us, whether students or professionals, got to where we are on our own, each of us had a helping hand along the way. It's our privilege to be the helping hand to these high school students."
The event was made possible by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which aims to increase diversity in the legal profession. LSAC developed the DiscoverLaw.org campaign to encourage racially and ethnically diverse students to discover career opportunities in law and choose a path in undergraduate school to help them succeed.
Pepperdine's next LSAC-sponsored event will be held on April 23 and will include high schools and colleges in the Los Angeles area. Contact Burton Rojas at 310-506-6978 for more information.