Affiliates Sought to Implement ABA Presidential Initiative in Select Cities
By Michael G. Bergmann
Michael G. Bergmann is the chair of the ABA YLD Public Education Committee and the YLD Liaison to the Standing Committee on Public Education. He is also an officer with The Chicago Bar Associations Young Lawyers Section.
ABA President Karen Mathis recently announced that the ABA will work with the Girl Scouts in eleven cities to teach young girls how to protect themselves from violence. President Mathis said the pilot educational program—called “Take Charge! Violence Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Law”—was co-developed by the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk and the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
Participating cities will include Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio/Austin, San Diego, Tampa, and Troy, New York. An initial pilot program was conducted in Chicago in conjunction with The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and was extremely successful. The ABA is now looking for young lawyer affiliates in these cities to help implement the program with the local Girl Scout organization.
Volunteer lawyers will use a variety of interactive curricular materials to help girls examine such issues as school safety, teen dating violence, legal protections in cases of abuse, conflict resolution, and the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society. Materials are already developed and training will be scheduled for volunteers in advance.
At the conclusion of the program, volunteer lawyers and law students coach the girls through their roles. Through formal and informal interaction with volunteers, the girls will also have an opportunity to learn about career paths in the legal profession.
Mathis has made it a priority of her term in office to find ways that lawyers can better support America’s most at-risk young people. She established the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk to undertake a year-long effort to identify the challenges at-risk youth face and to mobilize the ABA to help.
If you have questions about this program, or would like to assist with the implementation of the program in one of the pilot cities, please contact Craig Johnson at 312/988-5720 or .