Students who participate in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Pre-Law Program in the Department of Criminal Justice have access to pre-law advising, an academic minor, and activities designed to build pre-professional competencies, including legal research and critical thinking.
According to Brandon Blankenship, J.D., assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and director of the Pre-Law Program, these skills—along with many others—consistently prove to be valuable when practicing law or working in careers in law.
In addition to the core competencies, Blankenship also emphasizes community engagement and restorative leadership with his pre-law students.
“[We’re] proactively building community,” said Blankenship.
For Blankenship, community-building often begins with engaging middle and high school students in hands-on learning experiences.
One of the longest-standing experiences available through the Pre-Law Program is Journey to Attorney, an innovative summer camp for rising high school juniors and seniors that includes mock mediation and mock trials. During the camp, UAB pre-law students support camp participants as they retry a historic case (the last camp focused on the Scottsboro Nine case). Attendees dig into the facts of the case and aim to achieve a just result—an effort that often requires 12-hour days and intensive preparation. CLICK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE