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Miller Canfield Donation to Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Barristers Section to Support School Partnership Program Scholarship

April 9, 2012

On Friday, April 6, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Barristers Section announced that the law firm of Miller Canfield has agreed to fund a Barristers scholarship for Detroit public high school seniors through 2014. The total donation of $4,500 will be awarded in increments of $1,500 per year to students chosen as part of the Barristers School Partnership Program with Detroit Public Schools. Miller Canfield originally funded the scholarship in 2010.

Joining Miller Canfield, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation has pledged to provide $6,000 to fund a portion of the School Partnership Program for 2012.

“The Barristers Section is truly grateful for Miller Canfield’s generous donation to fund the School Partnership Program scholarship for the next three years,” said Anne-Marie Vercruysse Welch of Clark Hill and chair of the Barristers Section. “The scholarship will make it easier for three deserving Detroit high school students to accomplish their dream of attending college. We are also deeply appreciative for the support of the DMBA Foundation, which allows us to continue to continue our work in the Detroit Public Schools.”

“For several decades now, the new or 'young' lawyers of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association have been among our strongest leaders when it comes to giving back to our community,” said Lorraine Weber, executive director of the DMBA Foundation. The Barristers Section sets a standard of excellence in community service for other lawyers to follow, and the DMBA Foundation is proud to support their work.”

The Barristers' scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit, letters of recommendation, financial need and other criteria and may be used to cover the cost of books, tuition or other expenses arising from attendance at an accredited four-year university or two-year vocational or community college.

“As a law firm headquartered in Detroit for 160 years and with extensive roots in Michigan, Miller Canfield is proud to continue its support of the Barristers Section's mission and the scholarship program helping metro Detroit students,” said Tamira Chapman of Miller Canfield, who also sits on the board of directors of the Barristers Section.
In addition to offering scholarships to selected high school seniors, the Barristers' School Partnership Program includes an essay writing contest, Law Day activities, an internship opportunity, and a career day. The program works primarily by pairing high school students with attorney mentors who guide them through the different sections of the program and assist them in beginning to make decisions about their ongoing education and careers.

In 2012, the Barristers are working with forty-sixty high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to help them hone key skills, like writing, and provide them with valuable work experience. Barrister volunteer attorneys also visit Detroit elementary schools during their Career Days to encourage students to start thinking about the law as a possible career goal.

While the current iteration of the Barristers School Partnership Program is in its seventh year, the Barristers Section, then known as the Young Lawyers Section of the DMBA, began providing introduction to law classes to Detroit high school seniors in 1969.

“Volunteer efforts are the cornerstone of the School Partnership Program,” said Mitzy Sharp Futro, executive director of the DMBA, “but financial support also plays an important role.  The donations made by Miller Canfield and the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation clearly demonstrate their leadership and commitment to the Program’s goals.”

The Barristers Section is made up of those DMBA members who have been in practice for less than ten years. For more information visit: www.detroitlawyer.org/dmbabarristerssection.html or call 313-961-6120.