On August 11, John W. Marshall, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, addressed students graduating from the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, held under the auspices of the New York City Bar Association. In attendance and accepting her diploma was Kathya Marte, a participant in the program who spent the summer at Kelley Drye working in the Human Resources Department. In a moving and riveting speech, Mr. Marshall talked about what it was like growing up the son of Thurgood Marshall and encouraged students to strive for excellence while reminding them of his father’s words, “the legal system can force open doors and sometimes even knock down walls…but it cannot build bridges.” That role, he said belongs to “you and me.”

Since 1993, the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program has been placing high-achieving inner-city high school students with legal employers for the summer. Some 1,200 students have been placed in law firms, corporate law departments, non-profit/government organizations and law schools throughout the city. Kelley Drye sponsors and supports the Internship Program.

Kathya Marte is a recent graduate of the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. She will attend Bowdoin College in the Fall.