News Release

For Immediate Release

Deer Valley High School Law Academy
Winner of Prestigious State Bar Award

The California State Bar announced that the 2010 Education Pipleline Award will be presented to the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA) nominee, the Deer Valley High School Law Academy (DVLA).

Left to right: Scott Bergerhouse, Co-Principal; Janet Muirragui, Law Academy Teacher Leader; Dan Mahoney, Law Academy Principal; Clarence Isadore, Co-Principal
Photo courtesy of: ABC School Portraits

MARTINEZ, CALIFORNIA, September 22, 2010 — The Deer Valley High School Law Academy (DVLA) is the winner of the 2010 Education Pipeline Award, an honor awarded by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California. Nominated by the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), DVLA receives this honor for its "outstanding efforts of law-related educational programs that train and support students to become interested in the judicial system and careers in the law".

DVLA engages high school students who are interested in the legal profession through a variety of programs, including field trips, guest speakers, mentoring, and mock trial programs. Integrating legal concepts into the currculum has been key to DVLA's success. A CSI-themed project, that engages students, teachers, and adminsitrators in mock-law enforcement activities, has become especially popular. "The entire school has become part of the project, in a dynamic way that we have not seen at other piloting schools", marvels Paula M. Hudis, Ph.D., Director for Pathway and Curriculum Development at the California Center for College and Career.

Launched in 2009, DVLA creates a source of engagement for the diverse student body in the school district. "The DVHS Law Academy accomplishes multiple goals. The program successfully provides student awareness about the judicial system and knowledge about the legal profession. Equally important is the fact that persons of color are encouraged to enter the pipeline of successful, rewarding careers in the law," explains Richard Frankel, Partner, Frankel & Goldware, LLP; Chair, DVHS Law Academy Advisory Board; past president, CCCBA; past District 3 representative, State Bar Board of Governors. By providing hands-on learning experiences and attorney role models and mentors who can teach, inspire, and support students to college and career pathways, DVLA helps expand the diversity pipeline of applicants for the legal profession.

This positive focus on diversity and hands-on learning forms the foundation of the DVLA and helped propel it to the top of the State Bar's list of nominees for the 2010 Education Pipeline Award. DVLA will receive the award at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Monterey on September 25, 2010.

Contact Lisa Reep
(925) 686-6900

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