I’m happy to announce that our Orange County law firm has signed up to participate in a paid internship program for high school students from low income areas, which is coordinated by the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators. OC-ALA runs a program called Project SELF (Summer Employment with Law Firms). This is a summer internship program the group administers in collaboration with the Orange County Bar Foundation.

OC-ALA began with only 12 charter members, but now has a membership of more than 150 administrators. Their mission is to meet the needs of all members through “education networking and the exchange of information.” OC-ALA provides a lot of opportunities for leadership and helps enhance the visibility and credibility of the legal management profession through community service projects and partnerships with various legal associations.

What does Project SELF aim to accomplish? Basically, it provides high school students with the opportunity to become a paid intern at a local California law firm or law-related agency or business, giving them a unique and valuable educational experience. OC-ALA of course cannot achieve their goal of giving these youngsters this valuable opportunity without the willing participation of local law firms. Each law firm that signs up for this program can participate by employing one or more students for 30 hours a week during an eight-week internship at $2,000 per intern to cover the intern’s wages for the period of the internship. The program runs from June 22 through Aug. 14.

First of all, I commend OC-ALA and the Orange County Bar Foundation for putting together this wonderful program that gives a valuable and one-of-a-kind opportunity for students who would otherwise not have that chance. I also commend other law firms and organizations that have come forward and signed up for this worthwhile program.

I view this as an exciting opportunity for our firm. We look forward to welcoming our intern this summer. I hope he or she will have a great learning experience, a feel for how a small yet upscale Southern California personal injury law firm functions. I hope he or she will learn a little something about being a team player and cultivating a winning attitude. I also hope that he or she will walk away from our office, inspired and motivated to succeed in life and help others in the process. I wish all participants the very best and hope they have a rich and memorable experience this summer.