Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 32

H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H
SPECIAL SECTION
Youth Law Fair
25 YEARS OF INVESTING IN FUTURE CHANGEMAKERS
By Jeremy Conrad
en connections between the
bench and the community at
large.
" One of the things that was happening
then, and continues today,
is that there were a lot of
young people who were being
arrested and who were in the
system, " Wright says. " The impression
that I got was that
young people really didn't understand
how the justice system
works. They only really had contact
with the court when they
were arrested or in trouble, so
they never got to see the court
system in a positive way. "
Wright and others envisioned
introducing young people to
the many roles they could potentially
fill within the justice
system in the future and talking
to them about the administration
of justice in a nonthreatenI
n
2013 a high school junior from School Without
Walls in Washington, D.C., argued his case as a
prosecutor in a mock trial at D.C. Superior Court.
At the time, that student, Tyriek Mack, told a reporter
covering the event that he actually wanted
to become a defense attorney. " Everyone deserves
an opportunity to prove that they are innocent, "
Mack said.
Ten years later, Mack is a staff attorney with the Bronx Defenders after
graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2023. The
mock trial, part of the D.C. Bar Communities and D.C. Superior Court's
annual Youth Law Fair, left a huge impression on him as a teen, Mack says.
" The Youth Law Fair was a really important experience for me, at that
moment. A lot of the male role models in my life were incarcerated, "
Mack says, " so my experiences with the justice system really weren't
positive at all. "
THE REALIZATION OF A VISION
Mack's experience perfectly encapsulates the mission of the Youth Law
Fair, which was established in 2000 and renamed the Melvin R. Wright
Youth Law Fair in 2020 in recognition of the man who was instrumental
in its creation and promotion.
Shortly after his appointment to D.C. Superior Court in 1998, Judge Wright
sought placement on its D.C. Affairs Committee, a joint initiative with the
D.C. Bar, in the hope that the role would put him in a position to strength32
WASHINGTON LAWYER
* MARCH/APRIL 2024
ing context. Today the daylong educational event features tours of the
courthouse, where students sit in the jury boxes and the judge's chair;
a mock trial to give them a taste of prosecuting and defending cases;
and sessions on youth-related legal themes. Themes typically touch
upon current topics of interest, including social media use, bullying, and
racial profiling.
The program is aimed at high school
students but encourages broad participation.
" We wanted to be inclusive, "
Wright says. " The program was
originally designed for [teens], but we
invited nine-year-olds to come because
if drug dealers can recruit nineyear-olds,
so can we. "
TYRIEK MACK
Bronx Defenders
Wright's faith in the Youth Law Fair's
potential drew upon his own experiences.
" I went to Calvin Coolidge High
School in D.C., and I remember going
to see the courthouse as part of a
government class. I was just blown
away with how huge and grand the
courtroom was. It made an impression
on me, " he says. " Going into law
wasn't something I planned to do, but visiting the courthouse planted a
seed, and the court has become an important part of my life. "
In addition to cultivating an interest in the courts among the District's
youth, Wright says the Youth Law Fair also benefits judges and attorneys
by learning from the community. " We can hear what they think and
TOP: Students present a hypothetical case during a mock trial.
Photo: D.C. Bar
Courtesy of Tyriek Mack

Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024

Notice to Members
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Defending Diversity: Rise of DEI-Focused Practices
Will Law Firms Stay the Course on Improving Diversity?
Unlocking the Potential of Diverse Talent
We Belong: Black Students in the IP Talent Pipeline
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: Her Legacy Lives on Through Us
Get to Know The Appellate Project
Speaking Up for Lawyers With Invisible Disability
Special Section: 25 Years of the Youth Law Fair
Taking the Stand
Worth Reading
Member Spotlight
On Further Review
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 4
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Notice to Members
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Defending Diversity: Rise of DEI-Focused Practices
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 11
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 12
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 13
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Will Law Firms Stay the Course on Improving Diversity?
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 15
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 16
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 17
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Unlocking the Potential of Diverse Talent
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 19
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - We Belong: Black Students in the IP Talent Pipeline
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 21
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 22
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 23
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: Her Legacy Lives on Through Us
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 25
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Get to Know The Appellate Project
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 27
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Speaking Up for Lawyers With Invisible Disability
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 29
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 30
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 31
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Special Section: 25 Years of the Youth Law Fair
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 33
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 35
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 36
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 39
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 43
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 45
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 47
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Cover4
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/marchapril2024
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2024
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2021
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2021
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2021
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/marchapril2021
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/marchapril2021
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/septemberoctober2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June/July2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/March2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/February2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/November2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/july2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/february2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2016/
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2016
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com