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Lunchtime Becomes a Service Opportunity for Baylor Law Students

Sept. 28, 2010

By Brittany Hardy

Huma and Sul Ross kids

While the ideal legal profession has often been concentrated on the idea of service, law students may find it difficult to find time for much outside the bustling interior of the Baylor Law School.

However, it is in these formative years that habits are generated and often kept for the remainder of students' legal careers.

Each week the Student Bar Association members, in pairs, eat lunch with teacher-selected students from Sul Ross Elementary School, an inner-city Waco school. The Sul Ross teachers, who spend months (sometimes years) getting to know these students, select two children for each volunteer.

Lunch lasts half an hour and students may choose the day most convenient to their schedules.

Huma Patel, president of the Student Bar Association, eats with her assigned students on Tuesdays.

"They're so young. They could go any way that they're led. Many of them don't get any sort of positive reinforcement. Often, they're from single-parent families or have parents who just aren't real involved. The parents may be entrapped in their own lives," Patel said, "Even though it's just half an hour a week, it's time to give them our full-attention. We all sit down and have lunch once a day, anyway. So why not do it in a way that gives back to the community?"

Volunteers do not have be a part of the Student Bar Association. This opportunity is open to all members of the law school. Those interested in volunteering should contact Patel via e-mail, Huma_Patel@baylor.edu.

The purpose of this service opportunity extends into the community, beyond the rapid pace of the Baylor Law School. "Hopefully it'll make a difference in children's lives. That's the big hope," Patel said.

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