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Community Commitment

Access Law Career Pathway students

“I really felt the welcoming atmosphere and the law school's emphasis on tailoring their resources to meet the needs of the individual student.”

This comment, from an Access Law Career Pathway student, amplifies California Western’s commitment to the community, as the Academic and Student Affairs Department recently welcomed a group of students from the program to tour the school and meet with faculty and staff.

The Law Career Pathway is a five-week program developed by California Western Adjunct Professor and Access’ Legal Program Director Anne Bautista ’97 and Access’ Youth Engagement and Outreach Specialist Carolyne Ouya. Access is an independent 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to address the needs of the most vulnerable and underserved populations in San Diego County.

The program, which is in its inaugural year, enables students, ages 16–24, to explore topics on anti-bullying/cyber-bullying, healthy relationships and criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse, victim assistance programs, and what it means to be an advocate.

As part of the program’s curriculum, the students had the opportunity to spend the morning at California Western to get a first-hand introduction to law school.

The visit began with an introduction by California Western’s Director of Academic Affairs, Laurie Farid, followed by a discussion on the requirements of getting into law school. The students were then taken on a tour of the law school, including a visit to the California Innocence Project.

The day ended on an inspirational note from California Western’s Professor Ken Klein about why lawyers are needed.

Using an actual road map, he eloquently explained that a lawyer helps a client find the best route to their destination.

“Lawyers are creative problem solvers who need to be patient, to listen, and to empathize with a client in order to figure out the best solution to their problem,” said Klein.

As the group departed, Bautista expressed her gratitude to California Western for hosting the visit and helping expose young adults in the community to a career in law.

“As this is the first class, we have yet to see how many students apply to law school,” said Bautista. “However, after the visit, three of the students expressed an interest in a career in law.”

“Choosing a career pathway requires having more information and building a vision for the future,” added Bautista. “As a proud alum, I am grateful to California Western for welcoming our students and staff.”