Lee County Students to Tour Justice System at Law Shadow Day
LCBA partners with Junior Achievement to provide overview from jail to trial
Twenty five high school students will enjoy a bird’s eye view of the justice system on February 14 for Law Shadow Day, presented in cooperation with the Lee County Bar Association and Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. Starting at 8 a.m., four attorneys will escort students as they tour the Lee County Justice Center from jail to the courtroom, answering questions as they go.
Participating students are interested in pursuing a career in law, and Junior Achievement aims to provide insight into all the different types of careers available within a profession. Students will first arrive in the jury room and learn what it takes to make our jury system work. Clerk of Courts Linda Doggett will then receive the students at her office and explain all the things that go on there. These young people will then find themselves on the right side of the bars as they tour the jail and learn how inmates are processed. An observation of a courtroom proceeding is planned next, with a question and answer session with a judge and several attorneys who practice different types of law.
Nanci DuBois, executive director of the Lee County Bar Association, said her organization is very excited to bring this experience to students as part of the Inaugural Law Shadow Day in Lee County. “Anything our organization of attorneys can do to increase the understanding of how the justice system works increases our chances of guiding more of our students into the legal profession,” she stated. “Our new connection with Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida is bringing this program to full realization, and is a joint project we hope will continue for many years to come.”
Attorney Christina Schwinn is an LCBA member, Junior Achievement alumna and long-time supporter of the local chapter. She worked with the LCBA, Junior Achievement and its local program director Cecilia St. Arnold to develop the program. Renee Binns, another local attorney and LCBA member, coordinated the Justice Center tour. Colonel Thomas W. Ellegood, Bureau of Corrections Commander, coordinated the jail tour.
Law Shadow Day takes place a week after the Lee County Mock Trial High School Competition, in which some of the students may have participated. “Mock trial exposes the participants to trial work, but not much else,” said Christina Schwinn. “This program will give attendees a broader picture of what lawyers do.”
Junior Achievement aims to provide work readiness, entrepreneurship training and financial literacy to young people. Cecilia St. Arnold said she hopes Law Shadow Day will become an annual event, and added, “We have been successful with some Job Shadow programs in the past two years and we now realized there is a need for more career shadow days for specific industries. What better way to prepare these students than by giving them a comprehensive look at all careers that work around the law and law enforcement?”
The Lee County Bar Association has been serving the citizens and legal community since 1949. From a very small group of attorneys living and working in Southwest Florida’s Lee County in 1949, to today’s membership of close to 800 attorneys and judges in the county seat of Fort Myers, the Lee County Bar Association has grown to include a wide range of public services and professional development programs for its membership.
For more information, visit leebar.org or call (239) 334-0047, Ext. 101