For the fourth consecutive year, Nilan Johnson Lewis has made a significant contribution to help fund the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at Mitchell.
In the program, law students teach a class on constitutional law for nine weeks at a local high school. The high school students can then take part in a moot court competition. The law firm’s contribution helps pay for that local competition and for the winners and two law student coaches to attend the national moot court in Washington, D.C.
We asked Sheila Kerwin, a 1991 Mitchell graduate and shareholder at Nilan Johnson Lewis, about the firm’s participation and its commitment to the program.
Why does Nilan Johnson choose to support the Marshall Brennan program?
Because teaching constitutional literacy can provide a lifetime of skills and knowledge both for the law student teaching “fellows” and the high school students who take the class and engage in local and national moot court competitions. The program provides an amazing opportunity for law student to develop leadership and communication skills that will be critical to their development as attorneys when they graduate. At the same time, the high school students have an opportunity to analyze fundamental constitutional law questions and learn oral advocacy skills as they debate issues on civil rights. We have been extremely impressed with Associate Dean Mary Pat Byrn’s commitment to the program and excited to hear how meaningful the program is to both law and high school students.
This is your fourth year of contributing. What kind of feedback have you received for your involvement?
Employees of our firm are pleased that we have made a commitment to this important program. Support of the Marshall-Brennan program is consistent with our firm’s core values and we are excited to have the opportunity to be partners with Associate Dean Byrn and William Mitchell on this project.
From your firm’s perspective, what’s the biggest benefit of Marshall-Brennan?
Our firm believes in being a good corporate citizen, and we have always supported community programs throughout our history. The greatest benefit is knowing that we are giving back to the community and hopefully inspiring a future Supreme Court justice. We do include our participation in the Marshall-Brennan program on promotional materials and we trust that clients appreciate our engagement in this inspiring Constitutional Literacy Project.
Do you currently have any Marshall-Brennan Project alumni working there?
We do not currently but hope to in the future!
Mitchell is the only Minnesota law school selected to participate in the Marshall-Brennan Project and one of only a handful in the country.