Preston Kendall, president of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep was invited to speak in downtown Chicago on October 12 at the prestigious “State of Latinos in the Law Symposium” hosted by the Honorable Ruben Castillo. Chief Judge Castillo was the first Hispanic to assume the position of Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The Symposium, attended by leaders in the academic, legal, and public policy communities, is now spearheading efforts to identify and take action that will better support Latinos in high school, college, law school and their career trajectories in the private and public sectors.
Mr. Kendall was a featured speaker at a well-attended break-out session titled: “Early Education – Extending the Pipeline”.
The panel, moderated by Ms. Mary Bird – Director of Public Service Programs at Loyola University School of Law, was tasked with the identification of the factors that continue to limit the numbers of Hispanic students entering the legal pipeline.
Mr. Kendall’s presentation of the challenges facing Hispanic students and the way the school confronts and tackles the issues identified at the symposium, most notably Cristo Rey’s work study program, clearly resonated with an enthusiastic audience.
When asked how Cristo Rey St. Martin increases the pipeline of students headed for careers in the legal profession he responded,
“Our mock trial session is unbelievably popular. But we don’t forget that law firms have clients, so our students are now finding success through work study programs at legal departments in both the private and public sectors. We know that whether or not the student becomes a lawyer, exposure to the rule of law and civil discourse are central to developing our student’s skills in critical thinking and formulating arguments.”
Preston Kendall took questions from representatives of every sector of the legal profession; staying afterward to meet with people who waited in line to hear more about the mission and the successes at Cristo Rey St. Martin.