LEST is more than a program offering courses on legal skills and knowledge. It also provides unique opportunities for further exploration.
Special Projects and Courses
For students interested in collaborating with community groups:
Our students have the opportunity to work with community groups on activities to improve access to justice. We provide opportunities for participation no matter how complicated your schedule may be.
For example, we have a course that allows for students to contribute to legal and legislative research and advocacy efforts of community groups such as the Public Justice Center and the Baltimore Child Abuse Center. The program matches student interests to community group needs, taking students' scheduling issues into account.
For those who would like a more traditional internship, our Legal Studies Internship course provides students with the opportunity to work with the Baltimore office of the Legal Aid Bureau, where LEST students assist the supervising attorney handle the intake of new clients. The Legal Aid Bureau provides free civil legal services to low-income residents of Baltimore (and is conveniently accessible from UB via the Purple Route of the free downtown Circulator).
For students interested in hands-on activities in the courts:
A group of current LEST students and LEST alums are developing a pilot project to provide people with cases in Baltimore City District Court who don't have lawyers with "court navigators." Court navigators are students who have been trained about how the court works and can help unrepresented people navigate the steps of the court process. LEST students who participate -- whether helping to plan the project and its training curriculum, or serving as navigators themselves -- may get course credit for their contributions. It is also an opportunity to learn about the legal profession and how the courts function, and to interact with the judges and lawyers who work in the court.
For students interested in "test-driving" law school:
We will be offering two LEST courses in the fall that are cross-listed from UB's School of Law. These courses are taken at the School of Law, with law students, instructed by law professors, with LEST students blind-graded along with the law students—all at the much lower LEST tuition rate. This experience gives interested students the opportunity to sample the law school experience to see if it's right for them, and provides access to courses not otherwise available in our own course offerings. Our cross-listed law courses next semester are Immigration Law and International Law.
"My studies in the LEST program have significantly broadened my perspective on law, politics, and ethics. … It expanded my understanding of the world around me. Now, I’m able to think more critically and analyze complex cases and issues."
-- Memory Jackson