By: DeWarren K. Langley
Over the summer, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to put into practice what I so firmly believe is the core of my education at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law. The motto “Dedication to service of others. Reaching back & lifting up!” exemplifies my summer experiences. In addition to my summer class work, I served as Legal Intern for the Office of the President at the North Carolina Community College System, attended the 2010 Discover the PATH to Becoming a Public Defender Conference in Washington, DC, served as Team Leader for the 2010 Summer Legal Institute of the Just the Beginning Foundation in Chicago, IL, and continued my community involvements.
As the Legal Intern for the Office of the President for the North Carolina Community College System, I worked in the Office of the General Counsel, which provides legal advice and consultation to the State Board of Community Colleges and community colleges; researched and drafted responses to inquiries on issues such as employment, course credit for undocumented immigrants, sex offenders on campus, transfer of course hours for credits, admission requirements for a minor attending an Adult High School Program at a community College, and documents which permitted immigrants to attend community colleges ; created a “Frequently Asked Legal Questions” publication to provide legal assistance to the 58 community college and conducted legal sufficiency reviews of proposed employment and academic policies of community colleges to ensure compliance with state and federal law.
On July 31, 2010, I attended the 2010 Discover the PATH to Becoming a Public Defender Conference held at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. PATH was a free conference for law students committed to or interested in exploring careers in indigent criminal defense representation organized by the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia.
For the first two weeks of August, I served as Team Leader for the Summer Legal Institute of the Just the Beginning Foundation (JTBF) in Chicago, IL. The ten-day program immersed over seventy high school students in the legal profession through classroom lectures and activities, logic and critical thinking exercises, writing and oral advocacy in mock trial environments, panel discussions of judges and attorneys, and field trips to area law firms, corporations, government offices, and state and federal courthouses.
Serving as a Team Leader, I assisted the Executive Director of the JTBF with planning and organizing the 2010 Summer Legal Institute. I led discussions explaining the fundamentals of legal writing and analysis, the criminal justice process, the court system, jurisdiction, case law, case briefing, constitutional rights prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures, and appellate advocacy. Students also learned how to identify legal rules, understand legal reasoning and discussed the implications of judicial holdings.
I am committed to the academic, professional, and personal development of minority youth in the pursuit of their goals to become the next generation of business and legal leaders and worked with Partners For Youth (PFY) and Standing Tall For Success, Inc. Partners For Youth is a year-round mentoring and summer job program for middle and high school students based in Southwest Central Durham. On July 22nd, PFY honored two types of graduates – seven high school graduates and three graduates of the program. As Chairman of the Board of Directors and former student of the program, it was an honor to have all seven high school graduates attending college this fall. You can learn more about this organization on its website http://www.partnersforyouth.org.
Standing Tall for Success, strives to create long-term relationships and high-quality enrichment activities that affect every aspect of students’ lives with a goal of supporting and motivating each student as they develop their aspirations for the future and the skills they will need to become successful, contributing members of the community. On June 19th, Standing Tall for Success held a Board Retreat at NCCU School of Law. As Chairman of the Board of Directors, I led the board through a strategic planning session to build and strengthen the Board of Directors ensure compliance with state, federal and local regulations; develop and secure financial capacity; hire and train staff; develop and maintain quality programming; strengthen and expand STFS’s external network and increase volunteerism. You can learn more about this organization on its website http://www.standingtallforsuccess.org.