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Our Summer Legal Fellowship Program provides participants with two months of full-time educational and employment activities during the summer, and we provide summer program graduates with ongoing mentoring and other follow-up support.


Key Program Components

  • Internships in law, government and nonprofit offices complemented by customized support

  • Exploration of our system of law and government through academic classes, interactive exercises, mock trials, interaction with legal professionals, and engagement with current events

  • Career development and college preparation activities

  • Curriculum developing self-awareness, emotional intelligence, interpersonal competence, and leadership skills

  • Stipends

  • Mentoring and other activities supporting the young people's educational and career pursuits after they complete the summer program

Program Objectives

Participants develop:


  • Skills (academic, critical thinking, communication, emotional intelligence, conflict management, employment)

  • Knowledge (about law, government and social change; career pathways related to law; how to access and pay for higher education)

  • Relationships (with caring adults and positive peers)

  • Attitudes (self-confidence; high academic and career aspirations; an understanding of how to succeed in a professional environment; an understanding of their individual strengths, values, passions and challenges; motivation for active community participation and leadership)

Important Features of our Methods:

  • Building on the interests and assets the young people already possess

  • Staff and mentors who are ethnically diverse and who have similar backgrounds to the youth

  • Small classes, varied instructional strategies and individualized attention

  • Interactive and experiential learning

  • Building a community among the youth and staff that enables participants to feel a sense of belonging and safety, and that fosters enduring, mutually supportive bonds

  • Holding program activities on the UC Berkeley campus to reinforce the value and accessibility of higher education


Program Graduates Give Back:


Many program graduates give back to the program, by becoming instructors, serving as guest speakers and mentors, helping with recruitment or fundraising, or serving on our Leadership Council.  Ongoing connections among program participants, recent and longer-term alumni, mentors and staff create an always-expanding community that provides a sense of belonging and practical support.


In cooperation with Richmond-area high schools, we operate after-school Mock Trial programs serving diverse and disadvantaged youth.  Practicing attorneys coach students in how to conduct a criminal trial as a team, fostering their analysis and public presentation skills.  Each school’s team competes against other high schools in an annual county-wide competition, with students playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses in front of real judges. 


The students have the opportunity to compete in a rigorous setting that has traditionally included only students from affluent backgrounds, and they discover the satisfaction that comes from hard work, teamwork, and mastery.  They benefit from greater self-confidence, academic and practical skills, and higher academic aspirations.  The mock trial teams also have a positive affect on the entire school community, by building excitement and recognition around an academically rigorous activity.


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