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Bar News - October 19, 2007

Law Related Education: A Great Opportunity for Lawyers to Become Educators


Robin E. Knippers

Law Related Education (LRE) encompasses a variety of programs for students in grades K-12, all designed to teach students about law, the legal system, and the fundamental principles and values upon which our constitutional democracy is based.                           


According to Robin E. Knippers, the NH Bar Association’s LRE Coordinator, these activities are intended to foster partnerships between schools, lawyers and judges who volunteer their time to work with students and teachers.  


“Our newest program is called Leapholes and is designed to introduce students to famous cases in a unique way [see sidebar] and promote a greater understanding of how the court system works,” says Knippers.  “It’s a very exciting concept.”


“Our other programs remain pretty much the same, but they, too, offer many opportunities to volunteer,” continues Knippers.  “From judging the We the People... The Citizen and the Constitution” competitions to simply visiting a classroom on Law Day, your time will surely have a positive impact on your community.”


In addition to Leapholes, the following programs need your support:


We the People...The Citizen & the Constitution


Designed to enhance the student understanding of constitutional democracy and its contemporary relevance, this program culminates with regional and state competitions in the form of simulated congressional hearings. The state finalists go on to compete in the national competition held in Washington, D.C.


A Lawyer & Judge In Every School

            An annual event, occurring in the Spring, that pairs attorneys and judges with participating NH classrooms to discuss topics related to the legal profession.


We the People... Project Citizen


Focusing on middle school students, this program promotes competent and responsible participation in state and local government and public policy.  The winning portfolio at the state level goes on to represent NH at the National Conference of State Legislatures held in the summer, in July 2008, to be held in New Orleans, LA.


At present, the “We the People...The Citizen and the Constitution” events are most in need of volunteers, as the district competition takes place at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) on Dec. 14 (snow date Dec. 21) and the state competition takes place (LOB) on Jan. 11 (snow date Jan. 18).


For a complete listing of programs and information on all LRE offerings (and how you can help), visit the Law Related Education Programs page at (menu at top) or contact Robin E. Knippers, the NHBA Law-Related Education Coordinator at 603-224-6942, ext. 3259.


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