Appreciation grows for expanded Judicial Youth Corps program

Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014
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Photo Credit: Elizabeth O'Neil
Members of the Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Youth Corps program celebrate the 2014 JYC graduates.

As the Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Youth Corps (JYC) program has grown, so has the popularity of the JYC Appreciation Day event.

On Aug. 15, high school students and their families were treated to a standing room only reception at the John Adams Courthouse, where members of the judiciary joined court personnel and lawyers from around the state to celebrate the 2014 JYC graduates. A total of 42 students from Boston, Worcester and Springfield completed the program, which ran from May to July.

The JYC program gives urban high school students an opportunity to experience the judicial system and learn about the law through educational sessions and hands-on internships in the courts. The SJC first established the summer program in Boston in 1991. The Massachusetts Bar Association has partnered with the SJC since 2007 to expand the program to Worcester. This year, the MBA partnered with Western New England University School of Law to return the program to Springfield following a 13-yar absence from the city.

New SJC Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants opened the reception by welcoming the students, whom he said were now part of the "court family." Several JYC graduates either took to the podium or stood from the audience to recount their experiences and share their gratitude for their opportunity to be a part of the court community.

MBA President-elect Marsha V. Kazarosian congratulated the students and thanked the volunteers, teachers and sponsors, including the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the primary sponsor of the Worcester program. She offered special words of gratitude to recently retired Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland, a long-time supporter of the program who served as the master of ceremonies during JYC Appreciation Day.

"While he will no longer be active on the bench, we are so incredibly fortunate that Justice Ireland will continue to work with the Judicial Youth Corps program even in retirement," Kazarosian said. "We can't thank him enough for his ongoing dedication to the students in this program."

Reflecting on the JYC graduates' accomplishments, Kazarosian spoke about the educational advantages of learning by doing. "This summer, our students did just that," she said. "From all of us at the Massachusetts Bar Association, we wish each and every one of you good luck as you pursue your future careers."