High School Programs
For high school students, Just The Beginning Foundation offers programs that begin to explain legal concepts to young people. In doing so JTBF exposes these young people to the to various aspects of the law, a career in the law and how to apply their talents and skills towards current educational offerings and future endeavors. JTBF's taps its extensive network of legal professionals including; Judges (Federal, State and local) Attorneys, Law enforcement (US Marshal's Service) and other related positions, to introduce these young people to persons with whom they can make lasting relationships that will continue to encourage and enable them on their pipeline trek to the legal profession.
The Summer Legal Institute (the "SLI") is JTBF's premier program. The SLI is a ten day program designed to expose incoming high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to the law and its related professions. The SLI consists of classroom lectures on substantive information, logic and critical thinking exercises, writing and oral advocacy in mock trial environments, panel discussions of judges and attorneys, and field trips to area law firms, government offices, and courthouses. Practical information about preparing for college, securing financial aid, and succeeding in higher education are other highlights of the program.
The Advanced Summer Legal Institute is intended for high school scholars who have previously participated in the Summer Legal Institute and want delve deeper into legal issues and increases their exposure to the law. The program covers more substantive legal material, and activities, such as shadowing an attorney for a day, offer the students a unique perspective on the practice of law.
JTBF School Year Programming
Consists of a dual track of lesssons. partnering with Griffith Tutoring, JTBF is able to use its network of law students and other legal professionals to assist with a full 6 weeks of ACT preparatory sessions. Following those sessions the program is opened up to a larger pool of students all of whom may have even the slightest inkling that the legal profession is of interest to them. The students meet weekly for the next 6 weeks and are involved in writing workshops, negotiation simulations, field trips to law firms and organizations like the EEOC, where they are given the opportunity to meet with and hear from a wide range of law professionals. JTBF maintains contact with these students and invites them back to participate in the summer programming as well. The students are strongly encouraged to make a connection with the varying legal professionals who participate in the program with the hope that they are taking the initial steps towards building a network of mentors and connections.
High School Extern Program
In conjunction with the Chicago Public School system's Law and Public Safety Academy JTBF places high school externs with Federal Judges.
These students work 2 -3 hours a day, 3 days a week with the participating judges and learn filing systems, write basic inner office memos
and learn ablout the inner workings of a courtroom all through the lens of working in the judges' chambers. These students are also involved
in an annual mock trial competition.
In partnership with other area organizations JTBF provides parents and students the opportunity to work with and hear from representatives
from various Chicago area undergraduate institutions (admissions and financial aid officers) FAFSA preparation experts, college and law school
students as well as the parents of students currently in college, to discuss and give feedback as to the expectations of college life.
Every JTBF Scholar is asked to "Reach Back, Lift Up" and mentor younger pipeline students to insure that each scholar has both a
mentor and mentee with whom he or she works. If you are interested in mentoring or being mentored please visit our mentor sign up page
for more information.
During the school year, there is consistent communication with our Scholars as additional programs and support are offered.
In making and maintaining these connections JTBF is better able to assist and encourage young people
and insure that the organization is true to it's mission:
" Dedicated to the Continuing Diversification of the Legal Profession"
To find out more information about any of our programs please contact:
JTBF Program Director