AJMLS Street Law Program Educates and Inspires Local High School Students

January 2014

For the second year, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is partnering with the Northern District of Georgia’s United States Attorney’s Office to host a Street Law Program at Booker T. Washington high school.  The first year’s program was such as success that a second program was met with universal enthusiasm.  This year’s program is expected to be both bigger and better; with an increase in the number of high school students involved and the number of law school student and attorney volunteers. Street Law teaches practical law to laypersons using interactive teaching methodologies.  It empowers youth to use their knowledge to solve problems, better their communities, and become active and knowledgeable participants in society. The curriculum for Washington High, developed by Bridgett Ortega from the Office of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning at John Marshall Law School, was fine-tuned to include more interactive activities. Topics include Juvenile Justice, Crimes and Consequences, Cyber bullying and Sexting and the Civil Rights Movement.  Civil Disobedience was added to the curriculum and will include a showing of the award-winning film The Children’s March – a documentary on how the youth of Birmingham Alabama accelerated the demise of southern segregation. John Marshall students and Assistant U.S. Attorneys meet at the high school twice weekly to teach the various topics to 10th and 11th grade students from Ms. Carrie Dean’s Business Law class. In addition to the weekly topics, the students select a case for a mock trial and are coached by the attorneys and law students.  The program culminates with a mock trial at the United States courthouse before a U.S. District Court judge.   If last year is any indication, this year’s program will again inspire the young students to continue their education beyond high school, be aware of how the law impacts their lives, and to become active citizens.