Rising Scholars Program goes Residential

SMU Dedman School of Law held its first Rising Scholars Program in the summer of 2021. Disturbed by the continued lack of diversity in the legal profession and the murder of George Floyd, the Law School felt that it needed to respond by having an impact in the community. One of the manifestations of the response was the development of the Rising Scholars Program for rising high school seniors who were interested in pursuing a career in law.

The students came to the law school each day to take a mini-course, meet with attorneys, and participate in professional development seminars. AT&T, Inc. sponsored this event and their attorneys were an integral part of the programming, the culmination of which was a moot court competition judged by AT&T lawyers. This year, Sidley Austin LLP and Apple, Inc. joined AT&T as sponsors of the Rising Scholars Program that was held on the SMU campus June 6-10, 2022. Because of their financial support, we were able to offer a free residential program to 21 students from high schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

We were fortunate to have another exceptional group of students. With the expansion of the program came increased programming opportunities, such as mock interviews, a networking session, and more professional development workshops. As in the inaugural Rising Scholars Program, the students had the opportunity to develop and present oral arguments in a moot court competition. At the end of a successful program, the students’ families were invited to campus to enjoy a recognition lunch, where smiles and excitement filled the room, as the students shared the accomplishments of a memorable week.