Collaboration among Constitutional Rights Foundation, Cuffe, Exelon and Foley & Lardner LLP lead students in first-ever mock trial, give exposure to legal careers
CHICAGO (August 24, 2007) – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Students at Paul Cuffe Math, Science, and Technology Academy, located at 8324 S. Racine Ave., are prepared to excel in their 7th and 8th grade constitutional law exams through a popular mentoring program run by the Constitutional Rights Foundation with volunteers from Exelon and Foley & Lardner LLP.
This year, participating volunteer attorneys worked with students to conduct the first-ever, student-led mock trial. Attorneys from Exelon and Foley arrived at Cuffe on Tuesday, August 21, to conduct a morning training session preparing the students to present and defend a teen drunk-driving case. On Thursday, August 23, Foley hosted the mock trial in a simulated courtroom at their offices on 321 N. Clark St. Ald. Howard B. Brookins Jr., whose ward encompasses the Auburn-Gresham community where Cuffe is located, stopped by to speak with the students and view the mock trial. Brookins also is an attorney.
The mock trial program is part of the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s “Lawyers in the Classroom” series that Exelon’s Legal Department and Foley have participated in for the past several years. The mock trial was conceived for the students at Cuffe to supplement their civics education by emphasizing the legal process, highlighting how cases come to trial and learning what happens in the courtroom.
Before the mock trial began, the students were welcomed by Paul Hanzlik, partner at Foley, and Bill VonHoene, general counsel at Exelon Corp., who stressed to the students the importance of understanding their constitutional rights.
“We are excited to spark an interest in legal careers in these students we have been working with as part of the Constitutional Rights Foundation project. We hope that our passion for our careers transcends into a career path for some of these kids,” said Doug Graham, assistant general counsel at Exelon Business Services.
“We’re delighted to be involved in this important effort and hope to pique the students’ curiosity in law by giving them a glimpse into the judicial system and by talking about how laws get made and enforced, as well as involving them in the process of preparing and conducting a trial,” said Myles D. Berman, a partner with Foley. “Who knows – maybe one or more of them will go to law school as a result of their participation in this program.”
About the Constitutional Rights Foundation
The Constitutional Rights Foundation seeks to instill in students a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights and to educate young people to become active and responsible participants in our society.
About Paul Cuffe Math, Science, and Technology Academy
Paul Cuffe Math, Science, and Technology Academy is located at 8324 S. Racine Ave; John A. Jones serves as principal. Cuffe is especially proud of the committed teaching staff who provide a strong academic program for students. To support the academic program, Cuffe Academy provides writing, media center and computer programs. Other viable and integral programs at Cuffe include the Chicago Math Science Initiative (CMSI), music and band, counseling services, mentoring, after-school tutoring and social center. Cuffe also has school-based problem solving and inclusive special education as well as education connection and a vast variety of physical education programs. To further enhance and support our instructional programs, we are continuing Links to Literacy, with use of technology, the Accelerated Reader Program, Study Island and a Gifted Program.
“Lawyers in the Classroom” is a program Cuffe became involved with in 2006. This program involves 7th and 8th grade students. A group of volunteer lawyers present students with background knowledge of the law and the judicial system.
Exelon Corporation is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with approximately 5.4 million customers and more than $15 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the industry’s largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.4 million customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania and natural gas to more than 480,000 customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.
About Foley & Lardner LLP
Foley & Lardner LLP provides the full range of corporate legal counsel. Our attorneys understand today’s most complex business issues, including corporate governance, securities enforcement, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property counseling and litigation, outsourcing and information technology, labor and employment, and tax. The firm offers total solutions in the automotive, emerging technologies, energy, entertainment and media, financial services, food, golf and resort services, insurance, health care, life sciences, nanotechnology, and sports industries.