October 5, 2001

Project LEAP Targets Students and The Law

An innovative program designed to interest high school students in a legal career will be unveiled during a reception on October 25 at the San Diego County Bar Center.

Project LEAP or Legal Employment Awareness Program has two elements. A lively video and a hands-on internship program that allows students to experience what it's like to work in a law firm, courthouse, public agency or corporation. Many students want to become lawyers and eventually judges; this program also exposes them to jobs such as legal secretary, paralegal, marketing director, librarian, clerk, reporter, administrator and more - all of which face a growing shortage of qualified employees.

"Project LEAP takes job shadowing to new heights," said Arlene LaPlante, School-to-Career Program Manager for San Diego City Schools and a member of the Project LEAP Committee. "It will enable smooth transitions from high school into the `real world', and addresses some significant shortages in the legal and business communities."

San Diego judges, lawyers, other legal professionals and high school students from across the county participated in the 12-minute video.

"This was an exciting project for us," said Leslie Nelson of Writing & Visual Concepts which produced the video. "Working with such a talented group of kids was phenomenal. We even had high school interns on our crew in support of the mission of this project. In this program, we wanted to create something that kids could relate to which would open their eyes to new opportunities. It was important to us that the video provide information, entertainment and motivation."

The October 25 reception will feature a history of Project LEAP, a showing of the video on the bid screen, testimonials by interns, and entertainment by the award-winning Jazz Ensemble from Mission Bay High School.

The reception is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Broderick Room at the County Bar Center, 1333 Seventh Avenue in downtown San Diego.

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