Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) is a collaborative education program designed to support, guide, and motivate high school students who face barriers to success by exposing them to law and justice through workshops, mentorship, and employment programs.
The Law Foundation of Ontario is a longtime funder of LAWS and in the fall of 2018 LAWS became one of the Foundation’s first Catalyst grantees. In addition to being a primary funder, the Foundation participates in LAWS’ Summer Job Program, hosting a high school student for a month. This year we were fortunate to host Makayla. Here are some of her reflections about working with the Foundation.
By Makayla Robinson
My name is Makayla Robinson. I’m 16 years old, I’m starting grade 11, and I’m a part of the LAWS program.
The LAWS program has different opportunities from grade 10 all the way until you graduate, including mock trials and a law firm mentoring program, which gives you the chance to be mentored by lawyers. I was with Faskens law firm. It also has a summer job program, which I participated in this year at The Law Foundation of Ontario.
The summer job program allows students from many different schools to get a paid placement in a law oriented job. Through this placement you can learn different skills sets that can help you in the future, if that’s the career path you want to go into — and even if you don’t necessarily want to do that. In my case I don’t want to go into a law field but working at the Foundation taught me a lot and I met some great people.
In my placement, I learned that giving grants is hugely a team effort and it requires a lot of concentration. There are a lot of steps that go into it and everyone has to do their part and their job in order to make things run smoothly. My coworkers gave me different tasks to do every day, including filing papers, updating contacts, creating files, photocopying papers, and organizing supplies and storage space. Although not all these tasks were fun I now have those skills for the future.
Everyone I worked with and got to interact with were very nice and I took something away from everyone. Each person had a different story to tell and a different point of view of the Foundation. They all had a word of advice for me to help me with my future career plans, which I’m very thankful for.
I definitely enjoyed my time at the Foundation and I’ll remember this experience and the lessons I learned as I move on in life. It’s been a pleasure working with such amazing people and getting to see what goes on behind the scenes of organizations like this. They play a major role in improving access to justice and I’m glad I got to be a part of the team.