Modeled after the Cleveland Bar Association, the Grand Rapids Bar Association is partnering with the Grand Rapids Public Schools to present an innovative Civics Education Program to all Freshmen Social Studies Students at Ottawa Hills High School. The 3Rs Program provides education regarding Rights, Responsibilities, and Realities and is designed to address fundamental issues facing the students and, ultimately, our city and region.
Horn of Plenty
The Young Lawyers Section spearheads this food and clothing drive during the Thanksgiving season. The Young Lawyers solicit each court, legal, and administrative group in the city; they deliver food and clothing gatherings to such community organizations as the Baxter Community, Degage Ministries, and the Mel Trotter Missions.
The GRBA has a goal of increasing the community's understanding of the legal profession and its practices and procedures with an emphasis on inclusion. To help reach that goal, the GRBA encourages local law firms to adopt local schools competing in the high-school mock trial competition. The GRBA provides support and coaching for the teachers and students involved; the GRBA can also provide competition fees, where needed.
Legal Career Day
The GRBA's Diversity Community Outreach Program plans speakers' panels for inner-city high school legal careers days. Volunteers serve on these panels, which have in the past included attorneys, legal assistants, court recorders, probation officers, and the GRBA Executive Director. In addition to panel presentations, students are provided with materials describing numerous other careers in law-related areas.
Legal Assistance Center
Launched by the GRBA, the Legal Assistance Center is now funded by private donations and grants from community foundations, including the Justice Foundation of West Michigan. This center provides information and materials for those representing themselves in the legal system.
Lawyer Referral and Information Service
Supported by the GRBA, the Lawyer Referral Information Service refers prospective clients to community organizations or, if necessary, lawyers practicing in the area of their need. Once referred to a lawyer, the client has access to a half-hour of that attorney's time free-of-charge. Any further time is charged at the lawyer's full rate.