Minnesota Lawyer featured Maslon UPLIFT in a January 10, 2018, article titled "Maslon mock trial program takes on education gap," which details the new mock trial program Maslon launched at St. Louis Park Middle School in October 2017. The article discusses who is participating in UPLIFT, what the students have learned, and the ways the program is working to engage students to think about higher education and a career.
"We're trying to give these kids the opportunity to learn about the profession, about criminal justice, and the court system, but also [to develop] really deep, strong speaking skills and analytical skills, and to foster a long-term vision for themselves through high school and into college," Catherine Ahlin-Halverson, Public Interest Counsel at Maslon and founder of Maslon UPLIFT, shared. The program currently has about 30 student participants who have been learning "why the justice system exists, why it's organized the way it is, who the players are, and about how a courtroom and a trial work."
Assistant principal Jason Boll notes, "About 45 percent of the school's 1,040 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders are students of color" adding "We're really big on racial equity, and this has been totally just a great partnership in that regard. As a middle school, we're always looking to do some more college and career-readiness stuff."
"It's my intention that we'll have two schools next year," Catherine said. "It's our goal that the program will grow in terms of the number of students we serve and the number of volunteers who get involved."
To read the full article, go to: Minnesota Lawyer, "Maslon mock trial program takes on education gap."
Maslon UPLIFT is led by Catherine Ahlin-Halverson, a former partner who transitioned to the role of Public Interest Counsel in 2016 specifically to spearhead Maslon's mock trial program for local students and to serve as a mentor and leader across the firm’s pro bono efforts overall. With more than 60 years dedicated to strengthening both the legal profession and the community, Maslon is proud to stand behind the mission and values of the UPLIFT program.
In addition to leading the mock trial program, Catherine serves as a mentor and leader across all of Maslon's pro bono efforts to address the rising incidence of unmet legal needs among the disadvantaged. Prior to becoming Public Interest Counsel, Catherine was a partner, practicing in the areas of complex and class action litigation for 16 years.