Community partnership lets Pilgrim Academy students explore ‘Pathways to Law’

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Pilgrim Academy students pose with retired Jones Day attorney Jim Teater during a “Pathways to Law” exercise on Feb. 22.

Students at HISD’s Pilgrim Academy have been exploring the intricacies of the Fourth Amendment’s search-and-seizure clause as part of an ongoing partnership with the international Jones Day law firm.

Founded in 2013 by former Jones Day attorney Jim Teater (now retired), the “Pathways to Law” program is designed to help eighth-grade students develop a better understanding of the law and expose them to possible careers in the legal field.

Thirteen students participated in this year’s program, which involved two field trips to the University of Houston Law Center and a mock courtroom exercise in which they argued a case based on a realistic scenario and received feedback from professionals on their performance. This year, the students debated what legally constitutes “plain view” in terms of evidence gathering and how that designation affects admissibility in court.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity for our students,” said Principal Diana Castillo-De Leon. “They showed marked improvement in public-speaking skills and thinking on their feet.”

If you or your organization would like to work with one of our schools, please contact Strategic Partnerships at 713-556-7200 or visit its website.

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