LLI Graduate Jordan Posey Reflects on His Experience
Four years ago, I was told I would be spending the next four summers at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Imagine my dismay at knowing that I would have to trek up the law school building’s steep flight of stairs dressed in a tie under Cincinnati’s hot summer sun. But my fate was sealed; I would be participating in the Law and Leadership Institute, a program aimed at exposing minority high school students to professional law practice.
Four years later I find myself looking forward to starting another chapter of my life—once again at the University of Cincinnati. This time I won’t be a high school student at the law school, but an undergraduate student on main campus. I attribute a good portion of my journey to, among other things, my participation in LLI. The program was an inspiration for young African-Americans as we were exposed daily to a number of successful minority speakers who willingly shared the story of their path to a successful career in their chosen field. Although the program focused on law, we engaged with traditional and non-traditional lawyers, judges, politicians and lobbyists. Each speaker had the common theme of inspiring us to think, dream, and reach higher than we ever imagined we could.
In support of the message of aiming higher, LLI provided us with great opportunities to experience law in practice in a number of settings during our second summer internship program. I was assigned to XPEDX, a paper manufacturing company, where I observed corporate attorneys at work. Additionally, for two summers my classmates and I were able to gain extra college preparatory activities through LLI including a free ACT course, help with applications, and college visits throughout Ohio and Kentucky with the purpose of encouraging our interest in higher learning.
Some of the most fun and most useful activities I enjoyed while a part of LLI were the mock trials, moot courts, legal writing competitions, and debate exercises. We competed locally as well as traveled to other LLI sites in Ohio to compete against our counterparts. These activities were extremely important personally, as it helped to build my confidence in public speaking, and writing. These experiences also sharpened my ability to think quickly on my toes, all while presenting myself professionally. I so thoroughly enjoyed the process that it is my intention to seek out an undergraduate moot court team in which to get involved.
As I look forward to the start of my undergraduate career, I can only hope that I will be able to have similarly amazing experiences of inspiration, life preparation, public speaking exercises, and above all, the camaraderie that I built with my fellow students and the program teachers. During my four years, I knew everyone I interacted with—my teachers, our speakers, and the other students—were all vested in my success. They all expected nothing less than my 100% to achieve the goals that I set, to the point where three of teachers willingly volunteered to write a letter of recommendation for a scholarship.
My four years have served as an inspiration and have most definitely whetted my appetite for a career in law. I will miss the people and the experience, but most of all I am thankful that I took advantage of this exceptional opportunity when I chose to participate in this program.
By Jordan Posey, UC ’17…UC Law’20?