CBA Hosts 2023 LAW Camp

Written Tuesday, July 18, 2023

law camp logo

On the week of July 10-14, the CBA hosted the virtual 2023 LAW camp for a group of Connecticut high school students. LAW Camp exposes high school students to the legal profession and teaches them critical and analytical thinking to help them succeed in their educational and professional careers. A total of 35 students attended this year’s camp, where they learned about the legal system and what is involved in pursuing a career in law. Throughout the week, they heard presentations and engaged in activities with 40 different Connecticut Bar Association member attorneys and judges who volunteered to participate in the camp.

As a kickoff to their week, students learned about the diverse pathways to becoming an attorney through the personal stories told by CBA members, which critical educational and professional skills are necessary to succeed in law, and the different career paths available to attorneys. Over the following days, the students learned about the Connecticut court system and the mechanics of court proceedings and lawsuits. They participated in exercises demonstrating how to conduct direct and cross-examinations; heard presentations on the roles of lawyers, judges, and the jury in court; and virtually observed a court proceeding.

The week-long camp culminated with a closing argument competition between the students, who worked with volunteers to prepare. While overseeing one group’s preparations, President Maggie Castinado reassured the students that “it’s natural to get nervous or tongue-tied,” and offered each student constructive feedback as they practiced their arguments.

The finalists presented their arguments to Judge Erik T. Lohr of the Connecticut Superior Court, who selected the winner and runner-up. After the competition, Judge Lohr explained the duties of his role as a Connecticut Superior Court judge to the students. He spoke about his path to entering the field of law and inquired with each finalist about their background and interests while providing feedback on their performances.

The week of learning ended with closing remarks from Ronald J. Houde, Jr., CBA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee co-chair and LAW Camp chair: “I hope you all had a good time, learned something new, and had a meaningful experience. I hope you had a connection or felt something with at least one speaker to give you an example of the type of law or type of career that you might want to go into, or you heard from someone who provided an example for you of what it’s like to be a lawyer.”

 Students Participate in Closing Argument Competition
 Judge Erik T. Lohr oversaw the closing argument competition on the last day of LAW Camp.