Bar News - March 9, 2007
Law-Related Education: Program Update
By: Patty Wooster, LRE Coordinator
The Law-Related Education (LRE) department promotes education on the justice system for New Hampshire students K-12 and coordinates programs such as: We the People…The Citizen and the Constitution; Project Citizen; Mock Trial; and A Lawyer and Judge in Every School.
We the People is a lesson in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the birth of the American democratic system. Schools that register to compete will study a unit built around six questions; in a legislative setting, the students are given four minutes to answer questions before a panel consisting of attorneys, judges and, occasionally, state legislators. After the four minutes are up, the panel has six minutes to ask follow-up questions. The students are scored by the panel judges and the schools with the highest scores move on to the state championship.
The same process is followed again at the state level and the winner of the state competition moves on to the national competition, which is held in Washington DC in the spring. This year’s state champion was John Stark High School. The students and their teacher Dan Marcus are very excited about going to Washington.
Project Citizen promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. Students work together to identify and study a public issue, developing an action plan for implementing a policy decided upon by the students. The students present a portfolio in a simulated legislative hearing, demonstrating their knowledge and understanding about how public policy is formulated.
Mock Trial is a competition that is held during the month of March. This year, 24 schools are participating in the competition. The students, with the help of a lawyer-coach, are given a fictitious case and each school provides a defense team and a prosecuting team. Each team of students argues for its side in a real courtroom with a presiding judge and a team of three scoring judges. The winners go on to the state championship. One school is chosen as the state champion and moves on to the national competition, held this year in Dallas, Texas.
A Lawyer and Judge in Every School is an annual spring event that pairs attorneys and judges with classrooms throughout the state to discuss concepts of law, rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and additional legal issues consistent with student interest and course curriculum.
For more information about these programs, contact Robin Knippers, LRE coordinator, at 603-715-3259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.