The Star Tribune reported on a partnership between Mitchell Hamline and Ujamaa Place in a May 30 article by reporter Jim Walsh. Ujamaa is a St. Paul-based organization working to empower African-American men through education and skills training. The group has been working with Mitchell Hamline on a “Listening Project” that aims to sharpen law students’ listening skills and to record people’s stories of their interactions with the law.
Recently, several participants in the Ujamaa program sat in the jury box during a mock trial conducted by students at Mitchell Hamline. It gave the men, including some who had been convicted of crimes in the past, a better understanding of the work of judges, attorneys, and jurors.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis told the Star Tribune the partnership is “an outstanding collaboration” and hopes it helps future law students broaden their horizons.
“There is nothing worse than having a freshly minted lawyer coming out and thinking they know everything and talking down to people, whether they are white, brown, yellow or whatever,” Davis said. “Mitchell Hamline has been on the forefront of making sure lawyers come out well trained and have an understanding of the communities they go into.”