“Always pursue knowledge and learning to help you find your purpose,” Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby told an audience of more than 75 high school students, their teachers and law students. “Never listen to the naysayers because they don’t define you. You are the keepers of your own destiny.”
Mosby was part of a line up of faculty members, alumni and other speakers at the law school June 5 to participate in the Youth Empowerment Program, created last year by the Maryland Carey Law evening Class of 2017 to introduce the teenagers to the legal profession.
As Mosby told the audience, her legal career began when she was 14 years old and saw her 17 year-old cousin killed outside her home, in a case of mistaken identity. “The image is still in my mind,” she said.
Later, at the trial of her cousin’s killer, “The way the prosecutor was fighting for justice for my family intrigued me,” Mosby said. “It told me that a prosecutor seeks justice over convictions; not only for the victims of a crime but for the defendants as well. From that day on, I knew what I wanted to be.”
The law students developed the Youth Empowerment Program to give high school students knowledge of their legal rights so they make productive and informed decisions in their communities. To pursue that mission, the day’s agenda included a discussion of “No Vehicles in the Park,” a classic lesson in legal education, Mosby’s introduction from Maryland Carey Law Professor Russell McClain and breakout sessions with Professor Mark Graber, who discussed free speech in relation to juvenile rights, and assistant publicdefender Amy Wilson‘95, who examined roles at a juvenile drug treatment court.
This year, Lizzie De Santis, Brandon Cooper and the third-year evening class saw their program blossom from a small one for Baltimore City Teen Court defendants and Law Links interns to an all-day event that included sophomores, juniors, and seniors from Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical Senior High School (Mervo), Digital Harbor High School, and the SEED School of Maryland.
The event was co-organized with the law school’s Office of Admissions and sponsored by the Law School Admission Council as a part of its DiscoverLaw.org month. Other supporters included the Maryland Carey Law Student Bar Association, the Citizenship Law Related Education Project, the Maryland Carey Law Black Law Student Association, and Community Law in Action, Inc.