UK College of Law Co-Hosts First Law Camp
June 8-14, the UK College of Law, in conjunction with the Fayette County Bar Association (FCBA), co-hosted the first Summer Law Institute (SLI) – a seven-day residential Law Camp for high school students interested in law and the legal profession.
Law Camp brought together a diverse group of 17 rising juniors and seniors, representing six area high schools, to take part in four days of classes, a day of job shadowing, and a day of oral argument presentations. The classes held at the UK College of Law covered the fundamentals of trial procedure, the judicial system, and criminal and civil law. On Friday, students had the opportunity to tour the Fayette Circuit Courthouse, view live court sessions, and shadow an attorney to see what a day in the life of a lawyer is like. In the evenings, students worked on daily assignments in Blanding Tower (the dorm they were housed in) to prepare for the individual arguments that they gave on Saturday morning in the College of Law courtroom. A law professor and two local judges critiqued the arguments.
“We had a wonderful group of bright students who are attentive, intellectually curious, and unexpectedly knowledgeable,” said Judge Sheila Isaac, Executive Director for the FCBA.
Aside from the busy educational agenda, created by College of Law Professor Allison Connelly, there was also room for social events. On Wednesday night, students attended a presentation of “Lady from Shanghai” at the Kentucky Theater. On Thursday night, they enjoyed a historical walking tour guided by Mayor Foster Petit, and students caught a glimpse of the downtown atmosphere during Thursday Night Live!
The idea to host a law camp is credited to Judge Isaac. When she first began as director of the FCBA, she met with the director of the Louisville Bar Association who informed her about their annual law camp funded by the Louisville Bar Foundation – the only program they have allowed to be funded every year. She loved the idea, decided to write for a grant, and the rest fell perfectly into place with the help of UK College of Law faculty and staff.
“It’s been a great super collaboration,” said Judge Isaac. “It was vital that the UK College of Law allowed us to use their facilities and courtroom.”
Judge Isaac hopes to continue Law Camp next year, a project that directly educates young people on the fundamentals of the law and trial, broadens their understanding and awareness of the bar, and promotes a positive image of the law profession.
Thank you to the following who helped make the first Law Camp possible:
Law Camp Executive Director
Judge Sheila Isaac
Law Student Mentors
Law Camp Faculty
Professor Allison Connelly
Professor Melissa Henke
Professor Melynda Price
Assistant Dean Danny Murphy
Law Camp Judges and Lawyers
Judge Joe Bouvier
Judge Lewis Paisley
Judge Ernesto Scorsone