About an hour ago, dozens of eighth-graders from a South Phoenix elementary school visited the State Bar of Arizona offices. What a hoot.

Hon. Roxanne Song Ong

Earlier in the morning, they had stopped by the Phoenix Municipal Court, where Presiding Judge Roxanne Song Ong and Judge Carol Scott Berry greeted them and showed them around. The students also were able to replicate a trial in a muni courtroom.

Here at the Bar, the kids displayed posters they had made months ago in response to the prompt of what qualities do they seek in their imaginary city’s City Attorney. Their responses were good, and even insightful at times.

I. Godwin Otu, Arizona Attorney, April 2008

The outreach is part of the State Bar’s Diversity Department efforts. The Pipeline Project aims to introduce students to the legal profession and provide them support in the years leading up to important school and life choices. The Department is led by I. Godwin Otu, whom we featured in Arizona Attorney magazine in April 2008. Look for our follow-up conversation with Otu in our upcoming June magazine.

The Bar’s press release—and some of the posters—follow:

South Phoenix Students to Tour Phoenix Court on Wednesday

PHOENIX – March 22, 2010 – South Phoenix 8th graders on Wednesday will tour the Phoenix Municipal Court and meet judges as part of the State Bar of Arizona’s efforts to encourage the kids to stay in school and pursue a legal career.

The State Bar’s Diversity Pipeline Project has adopted Cloves C. Campbell Sr. Elementary School students to mentor over a number of years.

Diversity Pipeline Project volunteers will develop a long-term relationship with the students to help 7th and 8th graders foster the skills necessary to become a lawyer. The State Bar will track the progress of the students over time.

Phoenix Municipal Court Chief Presiding Judge Roxanne K. Song Ong will give the students a tour of the court and encourage them to attain higher education. Later in the day the students will visit the State Bar, 4201 N. 24th St. in Phoenix, to talk with paralegals and investigators to get an insight into additional legal careers.

WHO: State Bar of Arizona Diversity Pipeline Project

WHAT: About 75 Cloves C. Campbell Sr. Elementary School 8th graders will tour Phoenix Municipal Court, 300 W. Washington St. in Phoenix

WHEN: Court tour begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 24

WHERE: Phoenix Municipal Court, 300 W. Washington St. in Phoenix