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24. Claudia Gilburd (Lewis) (LGB '72)

Posted By Alumni Office, mardi, 21 juillet 2015

Tom WillisTeen Law School, Inc.

> Founded 2009


1. What is your company’s product/service?
Teen Law School develops and delivers fun, highly interactive workshops that teach teens about the laws that govern “The Six D’s”© – Drinking, Driving, Drugs, Dating, Digital Drama and “Dumb Stuff”. Our LawU101© division teaches similar content to 18+ young adults. At present, we offer school-based programmes and diversion programmes for court-referred juveniles and young adults.

2. Where was it founded and where do you now have offices?
The company was founded in Scottsdale, Arizona. We have virtual offices around the state and plan to expand nationally.

3. Number of employees at peak (and now)?
At peak, we had 10 employees including instructors, attorneys and support staff. Today we have 7 - as we expand and develop new delivery channels, our staffing profile will change.

4. What was the hardest thing about building the company?
Working with court-involved juveniles involves significant regulatory, compliance and risk management issues. We’ll expand that side of the business, administrative burdens and all, but our ultimate goal is to reach kids before they have contact with law-enforcement. That’s a win-win all around.

5. Where do you see your company in three years?
We’ll be reaching young people online, in mobile apps, all over the country, perhaps around the world.  Wherever there are teenagers, there’s a need for Teen Law School.

6. Do any other Ecolint alumni work with you?
No, but I credit my cherished Ecolint friend, Lori Lieberman, with convincing me to turn this idea into something tangible with value for others. She inspired me to act upon my vision and as a result, my life changed dramatically. A lot more work, a lot less golf and an enormous emotional reward knowing that we’re reaching kids and changing lives. No wonder Lori is an internationally renowned singer/songwriter/muse – when people listen to her powerful voice, amazing things happen!

7. In what ways (if any!) did your Ecolint education help you in founding a company?
My Ecolint experience has EVERYTHING to do with the founding of this company.

Teen Law School works with high school kids, kids who aren’t much different than I was at their age. Our physical circumstances couldn’t be more dissimilar, but our personal challenges are and were the same.  Peer pressure, negative influences, dangerous substances, poor impulse control, thrill-seeking behaviours, weak critical thinking skills, etc. No matter where on the globe or in which generation, teenagers live in dangerous times.

Our company’s mission is to help today’s kids make safe, law-abiding choices so they aren’t injured, caught, scarred or limited in the future by the escapades of youth. Why is a programme like ours necessary? Can’t we just let kids be kids?

In the US it’s essential since hundreds of thousands of  juveniles are arrested each year for minor, non-violent offences like violating curfew, drinking alcohol, shoplifting or skipping too much school. The “school to prison” pipleline in this country is alive and well, contributing to our country’s shameful status at the greatest incarcerator of humans in the world.

Keeping kids out of trouble is our company’s first goal; promoting responsible, engaged citizenship is our second.  Recently, we presented our work to a State Department sponsored delegation of European dignitaries. In their home countries, the visitors concerned themselves with the integration of immigrant populations into native society.  They saw in Teen Law School, like we do, the power of communicating shared cultural values by teaching the laws of the land to young people and other newcomers. It was exciting to be in room of global reach again!



More about the Ecolint Entrepreneurs project.

Tags:  Arizona  crime  law  USA  workshops  youth 

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