October 21, 2020

These Girl Scouts are going to law school

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Touro College Jacob D. Fuchberg Law Center collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County to create the justice patch, which aims to teach girls how the law impact their lives and expose them to women leaders in the field.

Touro College Jacob D. Fuchberg Law Center collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County to create the justice patch, which aims to teach girls how the law impact their lives and expose them to women leaders in the field.

By Karen Sloan, From The National Law Journal

Forget arts and crafts. Girls Scouts in suburban New York will soon get a close look at legal careers and the many ways the law shapes their lives because of a collaboration between scouting and the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

The law school teamed with the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County to create the Touro Law Center Justice patch program. “I believe this is a first-of-its-kind program between a law school and the Girl Scouts, and we are proud to be a part of having girls talk about laws and learn about the justice system,” dean Patricia Salkin said.

Salkin—herself a former Girl Scout—conceived of the justice patch as a way expose young girls to the profession and women role models, said professor Tracy Norton, who is coordinating the project.

“Honesty and fairness are at the core of Girl Scouting, and the justice patch program is a wonderful way for girls to learn to practice and extol these values,” said Yvonne Grant, president and chief executive officer of the scouting chapter.

The Girls Scouts can claim many prominent attorneys as alumnae. Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama, both lawyers, were members. So was Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general.

The first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor, was also a scout. O’Connor spoke with Girls Scouts chief executive officer Anna Marie Chavez during a Phoenix public forum in January that was heavily attended by uniformed scouts, The Arizona Republic reported at the time.

“So listen up out here!” O’Connor told the audience upon learning that the Girl Scouts’ growth was slow for lack of volunteers. “We need some Scout leaders.”

Girl Scouts at all levels can earn the justice patch, although the criteria change according to their ages. Daisies—members in kindergarten or first grade—will complete a series of tasks such as interviewing a lawyer about her job or developing an idea for a new law and explaining why it is necessary.

Scouts in the fourth grade or above will take guided tours of either Touro Law, located in Central Islip, New York, or the Suffolk County District Court. Norton plans to lead most tours. The girls might sit in on a class, visit the law clinics or talk with professors and administrators.

“We’ll show the girls what goes on here and how women are leading,” Norton said. “Leadership is a big focus of the Girl Scouts, and they seek to show girls and young women what their options are.”

Older scouts might research a specific law and debate its merits, give a presentation about federal versus state laws, participate in mock trials or research legal career options.

Several Girl Scout troops have already contacted the law school about participating, Norton said, and her own two daughters are exited about earning the patch. The patch itself depicts the scales of justice.

Faculty members are also enthusiastic. “As soon as the announcement went out, colleagues were contacting me offering to help out,” Norton said.

IMAGE: Touro College Jacob D. Fuchberg Law Center collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County to create the justice patch, which aims to teach girls how the law impact their lives and expose them to women leaders in the field. Courtesy photo

For more on this story go to: http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202724271398/These-Girl-Scouts-Are-Going-to-Law-School#ixzz3Y9W4U4rG

 

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