Pine Forge Academy Students Learn, Practice Law in Symposium
Story by Michael Jones
Allegheny East Conference's Pine Forge Academy recently hosted its inaugural Law Day Symposium, in which several practicing jurists came to share their expertise with the students, including Sherwin Campbell, chief judge of the East Orange Municipal Court in New Jersey and former PFA student; Walter Carson, vice president of General Counsel and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Columbia Union Conference; Ronald Colbert, a parent of recent PFA graduates, whose private practice is in Washington, D.C.; Herbert James, transaction grant manager for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and parent of a PFA graduate; Lisette Shirdan-Harris, a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia and PFA graduate; and Dennis Williamson, parent of a recent PFA graduate and current student, whose private practice is based in Nashville, Tenn.
Some 35 students were exposed to topics including Law and the Seventh-day Adventist, Law and Gender, How to Become a Lawyer and the Path to the Bench. Students later had the opportunity to have a Q&A time with the attorneys. The jurists also took the students aside in small groups to help teach them how to “become lawyers.”
In the afternoon, the entire student body was part of a “courtroom” for a mock trial held in the gymnasium (pictured, above). Students Simeon Ferguson, Nana Ossei-Wusu and Brianna Hayden played the part of prosecutors. Reese McKoy and Joya Hairston acted as defense attorneys, and Tyina Jackson presided over the case. Attorney Williamson prepped the students for their roles.
Students, staff and attorneys seemed to benefit from the experience and will hopefully serve as an eyeopener into the world of law, one day bearing positive fruit in the lives and careers of benefit to our society.