The James W. Cooper Fellows sponsor a number of programs aimed at students in middle school, high school, and law school to improve attendance, graduate rates, and placements at legal aid organizations that serve Connecticut's most vulnerable residents. Follow the links below to learn more about any of the programs listed.
The James W. Cooper Fellows sponsor an annual Essay Contest open to high school students throughout Connecticut. The Essay Contest was started in 2000 to get young people in Connecticut thinking about and exploring legal issues relevant to them and the legal profession. In 2011, the Essay Contest was named after Quintin Johnstone, who was a professor at Yale Law School before his death in 2014. Johnstone served as past president of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, participated in a variety of Fellows Projects for many years, and was a longtime member of the Fellows Education and Program Committee, which helps to organize Fellows projects like the annual Essay Contest. To learn more about this program, click on the link above.
The mission of the Singer Connecticut Public Service Fellowship program is to have a long term impact on access to justice in Connecticut by funding and supporting the placement of talented new lawyers with legal services organizations within the state. By working together, the Singer Foundation and the Connecticut Bar Foundation seek to achieve the shared goals of encouraging new attorneys to enter the field of public service law in Connecticut and creating a fairer system of justice for all our residents, particularly for those who cannot afford a lawyer. To learn more about this program, click on the link above.
The James W. Cooper Fellows and Hartford Promise have teamed up to create a concentrated program to provide Fellows the opportunity to serve as mentors for a cohort of Hartford Promise’s potential “Promise Scholars.” The initial pilot program started in the fall of the 2017-2018 academic year. It proved to be beneficial to many of the student mentees and very satisfying for their Fellow mentors and has now become an annual program. To learn more about this opportunity, click on the link above.
The goal of the Truancy Intervention Project is to improve school attendance for New Britain middle school students experiencing excessive absenteeism through the intervention of attorney volunteers who serve as advocates and role models for the students. The Project is funded primarily through grants from the American Savings Foundation and the Connecticut Bar Foundation. Invaluable support for the Project has been provided by Connecticut Legal Services, Inc., the Children’s Law Center of Connecticut, Inc., and the Connecticut Bar Association. Between the Project’s inception in 2006 and April of 2016, 160 children were enrolled and 137 advocates were trained as volunteers. In 2015, 54% of enrolled students improved their attendance and were no longer categorized as chronically absent.