Realizing the Dream: Equality for All
Hosted at the Children’s Court
The Second Judicial District Court hosted Law Day 2013 Realizing the Dream: Equality for All, on May 3. Francis Guzman, a Soros Justice Fellowship recipient and juvenile justice lawyer from the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, Calif. spoke to the attendees. He also spoke at the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center and the detention center. Students were given awards for their essays and art on equality. Numerous donated door prizes were given away throughout the event. This was be the first Law Day ever held at the Children’s Court and focused on empowering troubled young people to believe in themselves and realize their inner potential. This year’s events were sponsored by the State Bar of New Mexico, the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, the State Bar Young Lawyers Division, the Children’s Law Section, ARAG Legal, and Youth Matters Inc.
Soros Justice Fellowship
Guzman, given the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's "Outstanding Achievement Award" in 2007, is now in high demand to speak in low-performing schools, youth lockups and juvenile justice panels around the country. After putting himself through the UCLA School of Law with financial aid and funds from the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship For New Americans, in 2012 he won a coveted Soros Justice Fellowship, a two-year grant that will fund his work at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland to study alternatives to placing youths who are first-time offenders of serious crimes in adult prisons. He tells his audience that he's fighting on behalf of them. "Even though tomorrow is going to be the same, if you take the attitude that you are going to treat yourself seriously, you will feel a little better. Like pennies in a jar, over time it will build," Guzman said. "You must treat yourself with kindness, even when no one else is."
Read more about Francis Guzman at http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/From-prison-to-juvenile-justice-lawyer-4286757.php#ixzz2SYTn9Rce
1st Place – Brianna
2nd Place – Evalina
3rd Place – Michael