ELPO pioneers Legal Diversity Pipeline Project to encourage students to study law
by Mandy Hicks
With the goal of diversifying the field of law and law enforcement, ELPO started a new project this fall with area schools to introduce more students to law as a career field.
The project, called the Legal Diversity Pipeline Project, launched on Thursday, Sept. 21, with a visit to Bowling Green High School. Bob Young, Rebecca Simpson and Oysara Demir, all with ELPO, spoke to an assembly at the school, along with Deputy Chief Kevin D. Wiles of the Bowling Green Police Department and Captain John Clark, Commander of Kentucky State Police, Post 3.
The next visit is planned for Sept. 28, this time to Warren Central High School and the Geo International School. Visits will continue one per quarter. One session will include an all-day field trip to visit various legal venues including the Warren County Justice Center, the Federal Court House, the old Warren County Court House, the Warren County Jail and the ELPO law office.
“If we’re going to diversify the field of law, we’re going to need to do so in all aspects, from law enforcement to law firms,” says Bob Young, managing partner of ELPO. “People who are from different racial and ethnic backgrounds or who are considered diverse in other ways enrich the profession, challenge our thinking and help us better represent all people. We truly believe that many people would consider the field of law or law enforcement if they know there will be opportunities available to them, and that’s the message we’re bringing.”
Throughout the school year, ELPO attorneys and staff will be working with students in these schools to educate them about the legal profession. “Our goal is to encourage students from all backgrounds, especially those who have been historically under-represented in the legal profession, to consider pursuing a career in law,” said Rebecca Simpson, senior attorney at ELPO who has led the project.
“This is an awesome project that, in my opinion, will send a message to all diverse students that they are welcomed into the legal profession if this is something they are interested in pursuing,” says Oysara Demir, who is a paralegal at ELPO. “I think it is very encouraging and powerful for these young students to know that they can be a part of legal system and make a difference in their community.”