New State Bar program aims to build pathways for law students

Through the work of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan expanded its Face of Justice program this fall to include a unique opportunity for all law school students in Michigan.

The new program for law school students offers mentoring from volunteer attorneys, professional development, and networking with both legal professionals and other law school students. It is designed to support student success and is part of the State Bar of Michigan’s ongoing work to build a pipeline of diverse students into the legal profession.

“The State Bar of Michigan’s Face of Justice program is an investment in the future of the legal profession in Michigan,” State Bar of Michigan President James W. Heath said.

The State Bar of Michigan launched Face of Justice in 2016. Modeled after programs developed by the National Association of Women Judges, Face of Justice features “speed mentoring” with legal professionals from diverse backgrounds and practice areas. It was previously offered exclusively to Michigan high school students interested in the legal profession.

This fall, the State Bar of Michigan expanded Face of Justice to all law school students in Michigan through partnerships with the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, University of Michigan Law School, Michigan State University College of Law, Wayne State University Law School, and Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School.

The program successfully held its first virtual networking event in September. In October, Face of Justice for Law Students hosted an in-person networking event for students to meet with mentors and learn how to improve their interview skills, communication, and professional etiquette as they begin considering summer positions and clerkships.

Face of Justice for Law Students also offers a unique opportunity for students to meet, connect, and build relationships with their peers from other law schools in Michigan.

“We know that these gatherings of students with legal community members are impactful as we work to improve the pipeline of the profession for a diverse group of students from around the state. We accomplish this with the help of our members, who generously give their time and expertise,” Heath said.

To learn more, visit www.michbar.org/diversity/face-of-justice.


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