Local attorneys, educators, students and government officials gathered Feb. 16 to celebrate 15 years of partnership between UofL’s Brandeis School of Law and Central High School.
Brandeis Law’s Central High School Partnership is an effort between the two schools to promote diversity in the legal profession.
Central Law and Government Magnet Program students visit the law school and participate in writing competitions and other enrichment activities, while Brandeis Law students receive public service credit by teaching legal issues and critical legal skills to the high school students.
More than 500 Central students have participated in the program since it began in 2001, and many of them were present at the anniversary celebration.
Participating in the partnership as a Central student allowed him to see what the practice of law is like, said Demetrius Holloway, who graduated from Brandeis Law and is now an attorney at Stites & Harbison PLLC.
Also at the event, two Brandeis Law students — 2L Mashayla Hays and 2L Briana Lathon — were awarded scholarships from the Louisville Bar Association.
Hays is a graduate of Central High and is vice president of the Black Law Students Association. Lathon is a Human Rights fellow with the law school and president of the Black Law Students Association.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was on hand to speak about the recipient of the Justice William E. McAnulty Jr. Trailblazer Award from the LBA, which honors those who have had an impact on increasing racial and ethnic diversity within the legal profession. It was awarded posthumously to Carolyn Miller-Cooper, who was executive director of the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission.
“She represented that type of introspection and quiet ferocity that’s required when we face issues that are not just and require someone to stand up and say something and do something,” Fischer said.
Professor Cedric Merlin Powell presented the award to Miller-Cooper’s daughter.
“She believed that lawyers must be instruments of social change and social justice,” Powell said about Miller-Cooper.