(Front row, from left) Samay Gupchup, Yahilin Munoz, Ali Counton and Kayleigh Stewart; (back row) Chris Empson, Kiley Reeder, Toryan Bryant and Sydnee Valentine. Not pictured: Jeremy Erikson, Trent Carriger, Olivia Watson and John Collins.
The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee coordinated the annual Madison County Intern Program, placing high school students in law firms for one month in the summer to allow students to observe and experience different employment opportunities in the legal field and to better understand how the legal system works.
This year, 12 students were selected to participate in the program. The MCIP program sub-committee is chaired by Jo Anna Pollock of Simmons Hanly Conroy.
“This program allows students from around the county to visit the courthouse and observe court and to be placed with volunteer lawyers to observe in their law offices,” said Judge Barb Crowder, chair of the Third Circuit Pro Bono Committee. “The pro bono committee thanks the lawyers who donated their time to make this experience meaningful for the students.”
The participating students and their volunteer attorneys were:
Jeremy Erikson from Granite City High School with Bas Law Office; Trent Carriger from Highland High School with Maag Law Firm; Kayleigh Stewart from Granite City High School with Scroggins Law Office; Ali Counton from Collinsville High School with Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland; Samay Gupchup from Edwardsville High School with Williamson, Webster, Falb & Glisson; Yahilan Munoz of Collinsville High School and Olivia Watson from Edwardsville High School with Unsell & Schattnik; John Collins from Collinsville High School and Christopher Empson from Triad High School with Gori Julian & Associates; Sydnee Valentine from Edwardsville High School with Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen; Kiley Reeder from Edwardsville High School with HeplerBroom; and Toryan Bryant from Edwardsville High School with Simmons Hanly Conroy.
The students went through an application process for selection. They received an orientation about the legal system from Judge Kyle Napp and Judge Ben Beyers and observed a domestic violence order of protection docket with Judge Tom Chapman. They also attended sessions about confidentiality, attorney-client relationships, and types of legal cases and careers. The program has more than doubled in size since it started. Madison County students interested in applying for 2016 opportunities may do so through their high schools.