Saturday morning bright and early, I met Prof. Judges in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock and we headed down to UAPB (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) to participate in the “Choose Law” program. The Students attending Choose Law program“Choose Law” program is a pipeline program encouraging minority high school students to envision, commit to, and prepare for a career in law. As I noted in yesterday’s blog, the program was put on by the Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and the committee included Gwen Rucker, Cliff McKinney, Courtney Crouch, Paul Bennett, Aaron Taylor, Emily Runyon, Grant Cox, and David Coran. When we arrived, a number of young people were there already and were picking up their materials and taking their seats in the auditorium.

Hank Campbell, Dean of the College of Business at UAPB, gave the welcome on behalf of the Chancellor of UAPB who was unable to attend. Rosalind Mouser, President-Elect of the Arkansas Bar Association, also welcomed young people and talked about the value of a law degree. The Panel participantsfirst panel at 9:30 a.m. was on preparing and choosing a college. The panelists talked about financial aid issues and the SAT versus the ACT. After a break the second panel spoke on preparing for, and choosing a law school. That panel consisted of myself, Prof. Judges, and Aaron Taylor, Chief Admissions Officer at UALR School of Law. It began with an American Bar Association video entitled “Choose Law” which talked about the importance of law and why young people choose legal careers.

After our panel there was a panel with a number of current law students. Two of our students, I’m delighted to say, participated in that session, Dannelle Walker and Sharre Brooks. The other students were from UALR. That was followed by a panel of members from the Harold Flowers Law Society, Arkansas’ NationalMore panel participants Bar Association affiliate chapter. They talked about what it was like to be a practicing lawyer of color and the difference one can make. The most powerful statement was made by Gwen Rucker who talked about a young man she knew who was convicted unjustly of murder and how that motivated her to become a lawyer. This was followed by a question and answer session.

During the luncheon one of our alumna, Karen Roberts, was the keynote speaker. She received, from the program’s sponsors, a recognition for Wal-Mart on behalf of its diversity effort. In her remarks she again emphasized why it was important to obtain a law degree and what a difference the students could make in the world. With that we were adjourned, but I have to note that during the lunch hour before the program actually began, there was a showing of the Silas Hunt video. I was actually surprised at how quiet the students were and how interested they were in terms of watching the video. We were glad to be able provide that.

Professor JudgesAfter that Don and I said goodbye to everyone and headed back to Fayetteville. But, here I want to put in a plug for Prof. Judges. He’s too modest to do so himself. In addition to all the ways in which he contributes to the law school community, he is a playwright. The name of his play is “Radio Traffic” and it’s co-written with Stephen Cribari. The play is being produced and staged in Minneapolis at The Center for Independent Artists on May 8-10 and May 15-17. He had talked to me about it before and we got to visit about it some more on the way back to Fayetteville. I wish I could break away to go and see it, but the 15th– 17th is tied up with all our graduation events and the 8th–10th, the University graduation events, during which I’ve been asked to escort one of the “Little Rock Nine,” Terrence Roberts. If you want to check it out, there is a page about the play. It’s Congratulations, Prof. Judges! You are such a wonderful, multi-talented colleague. I hope you “break a leg,” (isn’t it what you say in a theater?) and I that it receives wonderful reviews and goes on to be produced more fully across the country.