A group of Riverside County lawyers and a judge have won national recognition for a mentoring program they do with Toro Canyon Middle School in Thermal that gives the east valley students an inside look at the justice system and how it works.
Normally held in person at the school, the American Inns of Court recognized members of the local chapter, Warren Slaughter-Richard Roemer American Inns of Court, that transitioned its 2021 presentation to a virtual program during the pandemic, reaching more than 300 students.
“We were basically the only Inn in the country to be able to do any kind of outreach in that year,” said team member Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kira Klatchko.
American Inns of Court is a national organization formed in the 1970s. It is an association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals from all levels and backgrounds who build relationship and mentoring programs in their communities.
The Warren Slaughter-Richard Roemer American Inns of Court of Indian Wells was formed more than 20 years ago and includes legal professionals from throughout the Coachella Valley.
Slaughter was a well-respected Riverside County Superior Court judge in Indio who had practiced civil law in Palm Springs before his appointment to the bench.
Roemer practiced law for more than 50 years in the valley, and was the founder and creator of the local Inn, said Brian Harnik, member of the local American Inns of the Court chapter who has been participating in the outreach program for more than 15 years .
The group meets monthly most of the year and breaks into teams, three of which do community outreach programs at different middle schools in the desert – Toro Canyon, Palm Desert and Nellie Coffman, covering each of the three school districts, said Harnik.
The group chose to