The Orange County office is once again participating in Project SELF (Summer Employment with Law Firms). This year, we are mentoring two part-time students, Kimberly Torres and Michelle Vazquez, both from Segerstrom Fundamental High School.
Project SELF is an internship program for Santa Ana high school students between their junior and senior years to work in Orange County law firms for the summer. They learn law office operations working with Office Services, Records, and Marketing personnel. Many times Partners and associates will take them to watch a court hearing or just invite them out to lunch to get to know them. Most of the students who apply for the program have expressed an interest in the law; our hope is to show the students that becoming a lawyer or administrative professional is within their reach. The students are typically from low income households and likely would not otherwise have this exposure to the professional work environment.
Pamela Kuckelman, the Orange County Office Administrator, is the 2011 program chair representing the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators, working in concert with the Orange County Bar Foundation to conduct the program. A record-breaking 53 students have been placed at 39 law firms and law-related businesses this year. Since its inception in 1995, the program has placed over 550 students in law firms. For more information, see http://www.ocbarfoundation.org/programs/project_self.html.