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Release Date: October 9,2023

Raising the Bar Program to Hold Inaugural Conference for High School Students

Akron, Ohio, October 6, 2023  – On Saturday, October 28, 2023, Akron Municipal Court Administrative/Presiding Judge David Hamilton and Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro will be co-hosting the inaugural Raising the Bar Conference for high school students. The event will be held at The University of Akron School of Law from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Raising the Bar has a mission to introduce more minorities to a career in law and give exposure to various career opportunities in the legal profession. Raising the Bar is supported by Summit County Executive Shapiro’s My Brother’s Keeper program, an initiative created by 44th United States President Barack Obama to close the opportunity gap for boys and young men of color.

Topics on the day’s agenda include civil law, criminal law, constitutional law and law as a career.

Speakers who have been secured so far are: Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Akron Municipal Court Judge David Hamilton, Attorney Vonsheay Brown, Attorney Edward Littlejohn, Akron Police Department Sargeant Michael Murphy, Jr., Attorney Imokhai Okolo and Attorney J. Dean Carro. Representatives from Heart to Heart Leadership and the Law and Leadership Institute will also be facilitating discussions.

“Programming like Raising the Bar is important for the next generation of leaders,” said Hamilton and Shapiro in a joint statement. “We both believe that Raising the Bar will help local students learn about career opportunities and which career opportunities pair well with their innate strengths.”

This event can accommodate 100 students. Registration and more information can be found here:

Raising the Bar launched in 2022. Selected juniors and seniors at Akron Public Schools’ Buchtel CLC were a part of the pilot program.

Judge David Hamilton created the court-sponsored Compassion, Opportunity, Mentoring, Purpose, Achievement, Success, Stepping forward (COMPASS) Program in November 2020 for males who are high risk to reoffend. COMPASS provides an alternative to jail and offers resources including trauma therapy, counseling, formal mentorship, financial literacy and vocational services.