Professor Cohen: Street Law "Educator of the Year"
Professor Laura Dym Cohen has been named 2007 Street Law Educator of the Year. She will be honored at the Third Annual Street Law Awards Dinner in Washington D.C. April 25, sharing the accolades with other award recipients, including former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.
"Professor Cohen has a remarkable and infectious enthusiasm that makes the program thrive," Dean Bryant Garth said. "She also takes the themes of the Street Law program into new arenas. For example, she took the initiative to get students involved in pro bono activities connected to the Teen Court project here in Los Angeles. She arranged meetings and secured the involvement of the Student Bar Association."
Professor Cohen created the Street Law clinical program at Southwestern in 2006, based on the Street Law Youth in Transition curriculum. Law students enrolled in her externship teach law-related critical life skills to teens in the Los Angeles dependency, delinquency and special education systems. The goal of the program is to give the youth legal information that will assist them for a successful transition to adulthood.
"The law students report that their experience in the Street Law program has been eye opening, challenging and rewarding," Dean Garth said. "The feedback from the schools they teach at and their students has all been very positive. And we are delighted that Professor Cohen and our program have received this significant recognition on a national level."
Professor Cohen, who has specialized in juvenile dependency, worked at the Los Angeles County Children's Court helping abused and neglected children and their families. She has also recruited and trained pro bono attorneys for a number of nonprofit legal agencies and is Co-Chair of the Juvenile Task Force of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She completed her B.A. in Communication Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1988 and her J.D. at the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1992.