For a morning in February, a dozen UNM law students traded their roles as students and led discussions of payday lending, credit cards and compound interest during a financial literacy service day at South Valley Academy, an Albuquerque Public Schools charter school.
Aided by PowerPoint presentations, the students talked about credit scores, the magic of compound interest and illustrated the differences between payday loans and bank savings accounts. They also shared their personal stories and how they decided to go to law school and encouraged comments from the high school students.
“The resounding opinion is that this was a great day – informative, engaging, useful, and at times, humorous, which is the best way to teach,” said Stewart Paley, a teacher at the academy who helped organized the service learning day. “The presentations I saw were all high quality, well-prepared and personable. The students enjoyed the sessions and said the presenters gave them things to think about and set into action for success.”
UNM Law Professor Nathalie Martin also helped organize the event, along with members of the Business and Tax Clinic.
The service-learning day was part of the School of Law’s Financial Literacy Program, whose objective is to promote and encourage the study of financial education. The program is funded in part by a grant from Wells Fargo.