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Lilly and Baker & Daniels start law program at Shortridge

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Eli Lilly and Co., in collaboration with Baker and Daniels LLP, has started a program at Indianapolis’ Shortridge Magnet High School for Law & Public Policy to help high school students learn real-world application of civil law.

Lilly and Baker and Daniels are bringing the program to Shortridge students through a national organization called Street Law Inc.

Street Law Inc. (www.streetlaw.org), based in Washington, D.C., offers a civil law curriculum as part of its Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program that matches inner-city schools with corporate legal departments and law firms. Alongside classroom teachers, representatives from Lilly’s law division and attorneys from Baker and Daniels will co-teach civil law classes to all 10th-grade students at Shortridge.

The pipeline program tackles the lack of diversity in the legal profession by focusing on strategies that encourage minority students to enter the legal profession. It provides students with role models, connections with legal professionals, and the opportunity to experience the types of work legal professionals do. Students are able to broaden their impressions of the legal profession and fuel their interest in legal careers.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Lilly and Baker and Daniels,” said Alene Smith, Street Law teacher at Shortridge. “This is a chance for the students at Shortridge to gain hands on experiences in law.”

In bringing the program to Indianapolis, Lilly joins the ranks of nearly 30 other corporations around the country – including Allstate, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Turner Broadcasting, DuPont, Marriott, Pfizer and McDonald’s – that take part in Corporate Diversity Pipeline Programs with Street Law. In addition to on-site school efforts, Lilly plans to host a one-day workshop/conference for Shortridge students at the Lilly Corporate Center in early December.

Volunteer participants from Lilly and Baker and Daniels will act as classroom teachers, assisting students with various tasks, lessons and activities as identified by the classroom teacher, and helping students complete exercises during the December workshop/conference.

“We have a responsibility to help ensure that there is diversity in the legal profession and Street Law represents a unique opportunity to meet that responsibility by engaging with high school students to encourage them to consider law related careers,” said Ponce Tidwell, assistant general counsel at Lilly.

“Baker and Daniels looks forward to working with Eli Lilly and Co. and Indianapolis Public Schools to make the Street Law program a true success for Shortridge students,” said Baker and Daniels chief executive partner Tom Froehle. “We believe strongly in Street Law’s mission to support diversity in the legal profession.”

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