English Lucas Priest & Owsley (ELPO) Law in Bowling Green is spearheading a project that aims to change the way law and related fields are practiced by addressing a huge problem—lack of diversity.
“Our community is very diverse,” ELPO Law Partner Bob Young says, “but if you look at the law enforcement in our community, the legal system and the law offices, that does not carry over.”
With the goal of diversifying the field of law and law enforcement, ELPO Law started the Legal Diversity
“We can always improve. Our numbers are not what we would like them to be,” Kentucky State Police Post 3 Captain John Clark says, “We want the police agencies that serve this community to reflect what the community looks like, but we need their involvement. That’s why were trying to catch them so early and plant that seed.”
A field trip to remember—dozens of freshmen toured the police station, court house, and jail—learning directly from law and law enforcement officials what exactly their careers mean and how important it is to embrace diversity.
ELPO Law Partner Rebecca Simpson smiles when she says, “the culture in their schools is already very accepting of people from diverse backgrounds and so that really gives me a lot of hope for the future.”
The freshman tell us they’re not afraid to be the change—they’re embracing it,
“If you come from different cultures or backgrounds, you want someone like you maybe to understand them more.” “We’re going to be the change, I really think we are if we go into the career of a lawyer, a judge, a policewoman, a policeman.” “If we help people, were going to make the world better and were going to help people through their problems.”
Throughout the school year, ELPO Law attorneys and staff have been educating students in their schools about the legal profession, and this isn’t the last of their trips.
“Students need to be able to find their voice,” Bowling Green High School College and Career Readiness Coach Destiny O’Rourke says, “and so being able to see what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, what they’re experiencing all around them, that they have some power in their voice.”
Simpson exclaims, “these kids are going to change the world!”