Strauss Troy hosted the Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL) opening reception in its Cincinnati office on June 5th. The SWEL program provides paid placements for minority high school and college students to gain first-hand experience in the field of law. Students are placed with private firms, corporate law departments, municipal law departments, and with state and federal judges. This experience helps the students decide if they would like to pursue a career in law. It also gives them an opportunity to develop a network of contacts in the legal community. These relationships are valuable regardless of which career path the students choose. This year’s program has 32 students, six of whom are working in Dayton for the summer.
A recent Cincinnati Enquirer article by Josh Pichler described SWEL’s mission to diversify the legal community. “A lot of these students are the first ones going to law school in their family. Some are the first going to college. A lot will come and say, ‘I know where I would like to be, but I just don’t know how to get there,'” said Kenneth Parker, chairman of SWEL’s board. “There’s a long road of potential disenchantment and frustration between where they are and where they’re going, and you don’t want them to give up.”
Strauss Troy has been a supporter of SWEL since its inception in 1988. The firm has had a summer intern from the SWEL program for more than 25 years. Benita Munnerlyn is this year’s student. Strauss Troy Attorney Charles Ashdown joined the SWEL board of directors several years ago and currently serves as Treasurer.