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The N.C. Bar Association YLD and the WFU School of Law to present The Rule of Law Program on Nov. 8

The North Carolina Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division and the Wake Forest University School of Law invite local high school students to participate in an interactive program involving students, lawyers, and community leaders titled “The Rule of Law – Your Rights, Your Life: How the Law Affects You” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Worrell Professional Center.

The program will explore how the rule of law affects and enriches our lives, as well as the lives of everyone in the community and will feature North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin as the keynote speaker. Area high school students will spend two hours inside the top-ranked WFU School of Law, and will get the opportunity to interact with Justice Martin, Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill, several District Court judges, local practicing attorneys, and current law students. Furthermore, students will learn about the concept of the “rule of law” and why it is important for them to understand, value, and uphold.

According to the Xavier University Center for the Study of the American Dream, one in three native-born citizens fail the civics portion of the naturalization test required for American citizenship, in stark contrast to the 97.5% pass rate among immigrants applying for citizenship. Gaps in familiarity and awareness are in two primary areas: (1) The U.S. constitution and the governmental, legal and political structure of American democracy and (2) Basic facts related to current political life and identification of key political decision-makers. In fact, in rank order, these questions elicited the highest incorrect scores.

The Rule of Law Conference, conceived as an annual gathering, will help remedy this unacceptable reality, at least in Forsyth County, by allowing students to learn about the law, and return to the classroom empowered by the knowledge gained. Students will receive a recognition certificate for their attendance and participation. Additionally, both dinner and parking will be provided at no cost.

“Our mission for the Rule of Law Conference is to strengthen the student’s understanding of how the law protects and must be appreciated,” said Professor Beth Hopkins, director of Outreach for the School of Law. “Students will learn about the law, receive a recognition certificate, take this knowledge back to their classrooms and be in position to apply this new found awareness to their everyday living experiences.”

Attorneys and law students interested in becoming prospective volunteers can expect to interact with a small student group and discuss a pre-designed problem with students. Though volunteers are invited to stay for the entire evening, including the provided dinner to follow, the actual discussions will only occur between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. If interested, please contact Assistant District Attorney and Chairman Milind Dongre at mdongre@gmail.com.

Participating students are sure to be impacted by this educational evening for the rest of their lives. Those interested should R.S.V.P. by Oct. 31 by emailing Milind Dongre at mdongre@gmail.com