CWBA Lawyers Teaching for Change Program
The Colorado Women’s Bar Association developed its “Lawyers Teaching for Change” program with the goal of increasing the number of diverse students that enter the practice of law.
Who does the program serve?
The inaugural program is designed to be used for grades 3-5. (Additional programs are in development.)How does it work?
The course is designed to be a two-day course (does not need to be consecutive), with volunteers spending approximately 1.5 hours each session in the classroom.
Denver & Jefferson Counties: Laura Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arapahoe & Douglas Counties: Vicki Klinginsmith at email@example.com
Larimer County: Judge Susan Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: A VOLUNTEER'S EXPERIENCE
"In 2021 I volunteered at Knapp Elementary, a Denver Public School. First, I contacted the principal via email (I found his name on the internet and called the school to obtain his email address), explaining our program and asked him to provide my contact info to any teachers who would be interested in having me present in their classroom (see the sample email above).
I received emails from two teachers who were interested in having the program presented in their classrooms. One of the classrooms was all virtual, and another attorney volunteer (successfully) handled volunteering in that classroom. I presented in the 'in-person' classroom. To arrange a specific day, the teacher provided me a few days and times that worked on her end, and I responded with my selected days and times. I was not required to complete a background check. I was required to wear my mask in the classroom (I was not required to show proof of vaccination, but I volunteered before vaccinations were available to the general public).
A few days before my scheduled first day in the classroom I sent the teacher the mock trial materials and asked her to assign student volunteers to play the parts in the mock trial, and noted that the mock trial would be done on my second day in the classroom. I also advised the teacher that each student would need a copy of the script and asked her whether she wanted me to bring copies for each student, or whether she would provide them (she provided them). Last, I told the teacher that I planned on playing two scenes from the movie My Cousin Vinnie. I provided her links to the scenes and asked her whether she was able to arrange audio/visual equipment for this purpose (her classroom had the necessary equipment).
My two days in the classroom were consecutive. On my first day in the classroom, I followed the Classroom Guide (in your packet). The kids were very engaged and had a lot of questions. The second day, for the Mock Trial, I used the SpongeBob Script. It went well and quicker than expected (It took closer to an hour rather than the anticipated 1.5 hours). The experience was extremely rewarding and I look forward to doing it again."