The Law and Leadership Institute at The University of Toledo College of Law has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Toledo Community Foundation to enhance its upper level curriculum.Supported by the Ohio State Bar Foundation, the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio’s nine law schools and others, the institute is a statewide initiative to help prepare students from underserved communities for post-secondary success through a four-year academic program in law, leadership, analytical thinking and writing skills.
The grant permits the expansion of the writing program during the last two years of the Law and Leadership Institute’s four-year high school program. Students now will receive instruction from experienced composition teachers, write an in-depth research paper, and respond to rigorous feedback on drafts.
“This grant will help further the goals of the Law and Leadership Institute to inspire and prepare students by strengthening their analytical and writing skills, which are critical for success in college and professional careers,” said Marilyn Preston, UT legal writing professor and director of the Law and Leadership Institute.
Those students who complete top-level research papers will receive a monetary award.
“The potential of the award will motivate those Law and Leadership Institute students who now leave the institute during the last two years to remain in the program through graduation,” Preston said. “It also will cause them to strive for excellence in their writing, which, in turn, will make them more likely to succeed in college.”
The Law and Leadership Institute began in 2009 with a single ninth-grade class; a new class has joined the program each following year. The program was piloted in Columbus and Cleveland in 2008, and has since grown to more than 400 high school students on eight law school campuses across the state.
Each of the four summers, beginning the summer after eighth grade, Law and Leadership Institute students take three to five weeks of classes or internships. They also return on some Saturdays during the academic year. Students compete in mock trials and public policy discussions, intern in law firms, visit colleges, and prepare for the ACT.
Toledo Community Foundation Inc. is a public charitable organization created by citizens in the area to enrich the quality of life for local individuals and families. In existence since 1973, the foundation has more than 670 funds with assets of approximately $219 million. The foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs.