Monday, July 1, 2013

Profs. Periman and Fortson present at Color of Justice events - fostering diversity in the legal profession and judiciary

L to r: Barbara Hood, Alaska Court System Communications Counsel;
UAA Provost "Bear" Baker; UAA Assistant Provost Monica Kane;
and District Court Judge Pamela Washington, Chair,
Anchorage Color of Justice Summer Program.
 Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies Program Coordinator, and Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Justice faculty, presented  at the "Color of Justice:  Fostering Diversity in the Legal Profession and Judiciary ...One Student at a Time" event held June 10-11, 2013 at the UAA Campus and the Boney Courthouse. The program is designed to encourage girls and minority high school students to consider careers in the law and judiciary.

Provost Baker welcomes students to UAA.

 UAA Provost "Bear" Baker welcomed students and volunteer attorneys and judges to the campus. Prof. Periman and Theresa Lyons, UAA New Student Orientation Director, helped kickoff the program with a group activity in which students discussed the qualities that make a good judge.  Prof. Periman and Susan Lee, Gonzaga University School of Law Director of Admissions facilitated "Choose Law: Your Path to a Career in Law & the Judiciary," an interactive session that focused on qualities needed in a judge and the kind of academic and professional preparation and experience that are required.
Prof. Periman, standing center, asks students what qualities they think a judge should have.

Prof. Fortson was one of 11 volunteer lawyers and judges who participated in "MentorJet: A Speed-Mentoring Experience" which provided students the opportunity to talk with diverse Alaska lawyers and judges and learn about the steps to a successful and rewarding career in law.

Prof. Fortson answers students' questions about law school and
being a lawyer or judge.

The second day of the program included presentations on "The Role of Law: The Case of the Million Dollar Painting," "Access to Justice: What Does It Mean?" and "You Be the Judge!" Prof. Fortston was a volunteer attorney mentor/coach for the "Join Your Mock Trial Team" session during which students were given a case file, assigned the role of judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, witness, or juror, and  tried the case. The volunteer attorney mentor/coaches assisted in trial preparation and debriefing.

L to r: Student Kaitlyn Moos, Court Clerk; Student Jackson Blackwell, Presiding Judge; and
Prof. Fortson, volunteer attorney mentor/coach.

The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) developed this highly effective annual program to encourage girls and minority high school students to consider pursuing careers in the law and judiciary.  Experienced judges and lawyers discuss law school and the requirements for admission, share their experiences including reasons why they chose their careers, and answer questions in groups. Students, judges and lawyers have praised the project, and it has been reproduced successfully nationwide.

Program sponsors include the National Association of Women Judges, the Alaska Court System, the University of Alaska Anchorage, law schools from the Northwest, and other organizations.   The Alaska program was taught by Alaska judges and attorneys and Northwest law school professors.

See a slideshow below.