Local High School Students Learn About the Path to Law School
Web Editor - Published: March 17, 2010

Ana del Puerto and Anthony Pledger

Celisse Williams

“As lawyers, win or lose, it is our job to make sure that people are treated fairly,” said Professor Kathleen Turezyn as she taught a mock Torts class to local high school students who visited Widener’s Delaware campus on Wednesday, March 10th.

The High School students came from local schools including Springfield High School, Howard High School of Technology, Upper Darby High School, and Penncrest High School to participate in DiscoverLaw.org Month: Diversity Outreach for High School; Students Day 2010. The Law School Admissions Council and DuPont sponsored the event.

Professor Turezyn’s mock Torts class opened the program with a look at Cordas v. Peerless Transportation Co., a 1941 case from the City Court of New York in which a mother and her two children were slightly injured by a runaway taxi cab abandoned by the driver after he was commanded to drive at gunpoint. The case dealt with negligence and whether or not the driver and the taxi company could be held liable for the injuries. Professor Turezyn pointed out the difficulties created by the case and noted that the Judge’s opinion was a dismissive one that neither lawyer would likely be proud to show to his or her clients, and that led her to comment on why it was important for lawyers to make sure that people felt the system was a fair one.

Following Professor Turezyn’s engaging talk, Dr. Sydney Howe-Barksdale, the Director of Widener Law’s Public Interest Resource Center, spoke to the students about the Jurist Academy program, a summer program that prepares rising college juniors and seniors for law school. She asked for one student from each school to offer an argument as to why they and their classmates should be admitted to law school. She commended each of them for providing a solid argument and told them that they were already demonstrating a crucial skill that they would need to succeed on law school. She emphasized the importance of preparation and told the students that she hoped to see them back in a few years.

Assistant Dean Eileen Grena, Head of Widener Law’s Legal Education Institute, spoke to the students about the Paralegal program. She took two students from the audience and set up a hypothetical case, asking the rest of the students to then comment on what responsibilities a paralegal might have in such circumstances.

“Listen to your teachers. They have your best interests at heart,” urged Professor Nick Nichols as he opened a talk about the clinical experience at Widener Law that enumerated the available opportunities to gain hands-on legal experience through the Delaware Civil Clinic, Veterans Law Clinic, Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Clinic, Pennsylvania Civil Law Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.

The attendees then had the opportunity to eat lunch with current Widener Law students who shared their experiences. At the conclusion of the program, the high school students thanked the speakers as well as Admissions Counselor Ana del Puerto for putting the event together. Hopefully some of the bright students who attended the event will decide to return to Widener as law students in the future.