Law School Partnership Project

Law School Partnership Project
GROOMING THE NEXT GENERATION
More than fifty years ago, a movement of young people changed the world. Thanks to these committed idealistic reformers and the institutions that supported them, basic civil rights were realized in voting rights, education, and employment. But our work is not finished. The greatest civil and human rights abuses of our time continue in the American Criminal Justice system.

Now is the time for law schools to join Gideon’s Promise, before another generation watches the right to counsel become an even more distant aspiration.
What Law Schools Can Do
In 2013, we launched the Law School Partnership Program to help us build partnerships between Gideon’s Promise, our partner public defender offices and law schools committed to justice. We are asking law schools to support their graduates for up to one year. In return, Gideon’s Promise will place the graduate in a Gideon’s Promise partner public defender office and provide three years of training through the Core 101 Program. The partner public defender office will guarantee that within the first year, the graduate will be moved into a full time position. Therefore, by providing support up front, law schools can help their graduates secure permanent employment, acquire the training and support they need, and join a transformative movement as important as any in the legal profession.
On March 18, 1963, the Supreme Court decision in the landmark cause, Gideon v. Wainwright, held that under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, legal counsel is to be provided in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their attorneys.
“I did not know what this program would mean to me before starting; but, I had a feeling it would be important. In the first two weeks at Gideon's Promise I gained friends, mentors, and colleagues that I am proud to fight beside. We shared stories, laughter, tears, and massive amounts of information and trial skills. As I stand on the precipice of my career, I now realize the importance of my Gideon's Promise family and I am so excited for our future!”

-Maisie Osteen, Washington & Lee University Columbia, SC

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