Urban Debater-Attorney Mentorship


Approximately 40% of debaters aspire to be lawyers. Students are very interested in entering the legal field, but many do not really know how to do so. Parents and guidance counselors don't always have the in-depth knowledge necessary to offer meaningful advice. Students want to talk to actual lawyers - people who have studied law and understand the path to a successful career in law. To assist with this need, BAUDL has created a career mentorship program to help familiarize students with the legal field through monthly conversations with a practicing attorney.

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Mentorship can help diversify the legal field
There is an evident lack of diversity in the legal profession. Diversity pipeline programs aim to provide opportunities and resources to encourage and enable minorities to pursue legal careers.

BAUDL serves 90% students of color and a large pool of potential lawyers. These students are interested in the legal field, but crave guidance and support during their critical high school years. BAUDL debaters strive to provide a new perspective and positive impact on the legal field. These students have the passion and skills to succeed, but lack professional guidance. Please consider stepping up as a mentor to give these aspiring lawyers the support and confidence that they need.

Students want professional mentors

Students are looking for the valuable resources offered through a mentorship program. Talking to a lawyer provides meaningful insight and helps students get a better understanding of the legal field. Gaining this kind of knowledge while still in high school gives students a head start on their path to becoming a lawyer.

Without a mentorship program, many students are not given the opportunity to discuss their aspirations, questions, or concerns with an actual lawyer. Students often struggle with school and career planning due to a sheer lack of knowledge. As a mentor, you will help eliminate the barriers holding students back and will help students better prepare themselves for success.

Unfortunately, many of our students don't have a lot of support when it comes to college and career ambitions. Simply having the opportunity to speak with a practicing lawyer can provide the confidence that a student needs to pursue those dreams.

Elisa Rae Yeung, Roul Wallenberg Traditional High School, debates alongside
Rebecca Young, Senior Trial Attorney with the San Francisco Public Defender's Office.

​Debaters have valuable skills
Participation in debate gives under-served students the skills they need to gain admittance into college and succeed in the professional world. In addition, it provides a gateway to previously foreclosed areas of professional and civic life - including, most prominently, the field of law.

Through debate, our students are trained to research, prepare briefs, and advocate positions on complex policy issues. BAUDL debaters gain the argumentative and analytical skills necessary for a career in law. These students want to utilize their skills in legal careers to better their communities and help represent the under-represented.

Mentor Role

As a mentor, you will be partnered with a BAUDL student interested in entering the legal field. Through monthly 30 minute phone calls, you will share experience, advice, and insight while being open to questions and concerns brought up by your student mentee. Your time is important to students and will certainly help them plan and prepare for a future in law. The mentorship program runs the duration of the school year, from September through May. Sometime during the mentorship, you must take your mentee out for a 1 hour breakfast or lunch and also take your mentee on a tour of your law office.

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We will contact you in August to reconfirm availability.

Mentee Interests

BAUDL mentees are excited to ask questions and gain advice from someone with legal knowledge and experience. Mentees are interested in learning more about what attorneys do on a daily basis while sharing career aspirations and concerns. They are also hoping to gain more information about different legal career paths, how to prepare for a certain path, and what to look for in college law programs. Students are very interesting in figuring out how to prepare themselves for a successful career and will greatly benefit from a mentorship program.

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Yali Corea-Levy, San Francisco Public Defender's Office, with
Dacobi Anderson, Skyline High School, after they debated together for a BAUDL event.

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