College of Law Honors Bedford Mentors with Reception

UNT Dallas College of Law students, faculty and administration thanked attorneys volunteering time and talent to 1L students through the school’s Louis A. Bedford, Jr. Mentorship Program with a reception on December 4.

More than 85 attorneys are serving as Bedford mentors for the first term at the law school and every full-time and part-time student participates in the mentoring program’s weekly meetings. The unique mentoring approach brings together groups of students and mentors based on common legal or community interests, matching three to four attorneys with each interest group, so students in the group develop relationships with multiple mentors each term.

Mentor and Dallas attorney Paul B. Hunker, Chief Counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is one of four mentors within the Immigration mentoring group. “It’s been rejuvenating to mentor some members of the first class of the UNT Dallas College of Law! I am excited to assist these bright, motivated and engaging students as they prepare to serve their communities as lawyers,” says Hunker about his experience during the first term of the school year.

Both students and mentors are enthusiastic about beginning their second term in the mentoring program when classes reconvene in January 2015. In their last meeting of 2014, the Immigration group of students and mentors generated theme words to capture their experience: favorite themes included “enlightening,” “energizing,” “impactful,” “fun,” and “motivational.”

Student member Arianne Garner from the full-time J.D. program opted for the Immigration mentor group because she has an interest in practicing immigration law and wanted to learn more about the practice area. Like many of the College of Law students, Ms. Garner had substantial career experience before deciding to attend law school full time. With undergraduate degrees in English and Sociology from Texas Woman’s University, Garner taught elementary school and SAT/PREP prep courses for the Princeton Review.

“With immigration issues, you rarely see the “happy” aspect of it in the media since coverage tends to focus on deportations and separated families,” says Garner. “It was nice this semester to learn that even the director of ICE looks for the happy endings, wants to help people achieve legal status, and keep families together.”

“I also learned a lot about different legal career paths, how real life experience can change your career, and how a passion for your work keeps you motivated and moving forward. I thank our mentors for generously sharing their time and experience with us and I know my fellow students feel the same gratitude,” concludes Garner.

Other mentoring groups include Criminal Justice, Child and Juvenile Advocacy, Domestic Violence, Government/Legislative, and Healthcare.

UNT Dallas College of Law was pleased to name the program after Louis A. Bedford, Jr. because his career exemplifies service to the community and guidance to young attorneys. “Judge Bedford’s lifetime of service to the community and his passion for mentoring others demonstrates to our students what can be accomplished as a professional and an engaged citizen,” says Professor Cheryl Wattley, Director of Experiential Education at the law school and creator of the mentorship program.

J.L Turner Legal Association Foundation presented UNT Dallas College of Law the 2014 Profiles in Courage Award honoring the Bedford Mentorship Program in at their annual gala on November 1, 2014.

Attorneys interested in joining the Bedford Mentorship Program at UNT Dallas College of Law can contact the school for more information. 

Page last modified on December 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm.