Volunteer

Discovering Justice Volunteer

VOLUNTEER WITH DISCOVERING JUSTICE

Children

Discovering Justice

GRADES ONE, TWO, AND FIVE

For a print-ready version of these details, click here.
For more information about
Children Discovering Justice field trips
contact Johnny Sadoff at 617.748.9639
or jsadoff@discoveringjustice.org.

Children Discovering Justice (CDJ) empowers children to stand up for their beliefs, resolve differences in constructive ways, and develop creative solutions to problems. This literacy-based social studies curriculum for grades one through six provides students with the tools they need to understand sophisticated ideas such as democracy, tolerance, rights, responsibilities, and the connection between rules and the law. CDJ is taught in schools and includes Courthouse field trips which build on classroom lessons and provide students with positive introductions to the justice system.

When and how long are CDJ field trips?
Field trips are typically held Tuesday through Friday mornings from November to June. Each field trip is 60-90 minutes.

Where will CDJ field trips take place?
Field trips take place in courtrooms in the Moakley U.S. Courthouse, U.S. Courthouse in Springfield, and the John Adams Courthouse.

How is the CDJ field trip structured?
Upon entering the Courthouse, students are given an in-depth introduction to the parts of a courtroom. With guidance from a Discovering Justice staff member and volunteers, the students read and discuss a hypothetical court case and then, in small groups, craft opening statements and closing arguments, as well as witness questions. The small group work culminates with a mock trial, jury deliberation, and a verdict from the students. There is also time at the end for questions and conversation with the volunteers.

Is there training for the volunteer attorneys?
Volunteers receive preparatory materials prior to the field trip with detailed instructions about the field trip. Discovering Justice staff is always available to answer any questions or provide assistance.

Discovering The

Bill of Rights

GRADES SIX – EIGHT

For a print-ready version of these details, click here.
For more information about
Discovering the Bill of Rights field trips
contact MJ Bastien at 617.748.9641
or mjbastien@discoveringjustice.org.

Discovering the Bill of Rights (DBR) draws middle school students into the midst of the judicial process. In a real courtroom, students learn about the Bill of Rights and U.S. Supreme Court cases. They then develop and present an appellate argument based on a landmark Supreme Court case before a lawyer presiding as a judge.

When and how long are DBR field trips?
Field trips are typically held Monday through Friday mornings from November to June. Each field trip is 90 minutes.

Where are DBR field trips held?
Field trips take place in courtrooms in the Moakley U.S. Courthouse and John Adams Courthouse.

Is there training for the volunteer attorneys?
Volunteer attorneys receive the case, a script, and preparatory materials prior to the field trip. Discovering Justice staff co-facilitates the field trips and is always available to answer questions or provide assistance.

How is the DBR field trip structured?
Students arrive at the Courthouse and are given a brief tour by a Discovering Justice staff member, followed by a courtroom simulation that introduces the facts of the case. The volunteer attorney then reviews the Bill of Rights with the students, looking closely at the text of the First or Fourth Amendment. Students are divided into legal teams, provided workbooks with guiding questions, and given 20-25 minutes to develop their arguments. The volunteer attorney then takes the bench and presides over the appellate arguments, asking questions to help clarify each student’s analysis. We leave time at the end for student questions and conversation with the volunteer attorney.

Stand Up

for Your Rights

GRADES SIX – EIGHT

For a print-ready version of these details, click here.
For more information about Stand Up for Your Rights
contact MJ Bastien at 617.748.9641
or mjbastien@discoveringjustice.org.

Stand Up for Your Rights transforms middle school students into appellate lawyers. Woking with a team of attorney volunteers for 11 weeks, students delve into the Bill of Rights, explore how constitutional protections apply in public school, and come to understand the complexities of balancing the rights of individuals with the safety and welfare needs of communities. The program concludes with students arguing before an Appellate Panel (one judge and two senior attorneys) in a real courtroom.

When, where, and how long do classes meet?
Students and attorneys meet once a week during the spring semester for 60-to-90-minute sessions after school at a law office, afterschool site, or on occasion, participating school. Over an 11-week period, there are nine classroom sessions and one field trip to a courthouse followed by a culminating event during which students present oral arguments in a real courtroom before an Appellate Panel. The sessions are schedule at times that are convenient for the schools, students, and attorney volunteers.

Who teaches the classes?
A team of attorneys teaches a team of students. Typically, the legal team is made up of three or four attorneys, one of whom serves as the lead teacher and primary contact. We recognize that scheduling conflicts arise on occasion and not all volunteer attorneys must be present every week.

Is there training for the volunteer attorneys?
Prior to the start of the semester, volunteer attorneys attend a training (typically two hours), where they receive a Teaching Manual, which includes the curriculum, case details, tips and strategies, and all necessary class materials, i.e. student handouts. Discovering Justice staff is always available to answer questions, provide assistance, and offer ongoing resources throughout the semester.

What are the details of the culminating event?
The culminating event will be held at a courthouse in the students’ community at the end of each semester. The students and attorneys arrive an hour before the oral arguments to practice one last time. Each team argues in a real courtroom before an Appellate Panel and an audience of community members. Following the arguments, everyone is invited to enjoy a pizza reception.

Mock Trial

Program

GRADES SIX – EIGHT

For a print-ready version of these details, click here.
For more information about the Mock Trial Program contact MJ Bastien at 617.748.9641 or mjbastien@discoveringjustice.org.

The Mock Trial Program propels middle school students into the role of trial lawyers. With the support of attorney volunteers, students tackle age-appropriate legal problems, focusing on either the First or Fourth Amendment as applied in public schools. Students engage in legal analysis and ultimately try a case in a real courtroom before an actual judge and a jury made up of community members.

When, where, and how long do classes meet?
Students and attorneys meet once a week during the fall semester for 60-to-90 minute sessions afterschool at a law office, afterschool site, or on occasion, participating school. Over an 11-week period, there are nine classroom sessions and once field trip to a courthouse followed by a culminating event during which students try their case in a real courtroom before a real judge and a jury made up of community members.

Who teaches the classes?
A team of attorneys teaches a team of students. Typically, the legal team is made up of three or four attorneys, one of whom serves as the lead teacher and primary contact. We recognize that scheduling conflicts arise on occasion and not all volunteer attorneys must be present every week.

Is there training for the volunteer attorneys?
Prior to the start of the semester, volunteer attorneys attend a training (typically two hours), where they receive a Teaching Manual, case details, and all necessary class materials, i.e. student handouts. Discovering Justice staff is always available to answer questions, provide assistance, and offer ongoing resources throughout the semester.

What are the details of the culminating event?
The culminating event will be held at a courthouse in the students’ community at the end of the semester. The students and attorneys arrive an hour before the oral arguments to practice one last time. The teams conduct their trials in real courtrooms before real judges and juries made up of community members who render verdicts. Following the arguments, everyone is invited to enjoy a pizza reception.

Courthouse Tours

ALL GRADES

For a print-ready version of these details, click here. For more information on Courthouse Tours contact Johnny Sadoff at 617.748.9639
or jsadoff@discoveringjustice.org.

Courthouse Tours of the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse afford the public the opportunity to learn about the court system and the history, art, and architecture of this magnificent building from volunteer docents. The tour demystifies the justice system and shows visitors that courthouses truly belong to the public.

When, where, and how long are Courthouse Tours?
Tours are held Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. throughout the year. Groups meet in the Moakley U.S. Courthouse lobby. Walk-in tours are available throughout the summer on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. Each tour is 60 minutes.

Who is able to participate in Courthouse Tours?
Anyone from fifth grade to life-long learners as well as international groups are welcome to sign up for Courthouse Tours. Group sizes range from 10-30 people.

What do the Courthouse Tours include?
During the 60-minute tour, groups will view several points of interest, including the unique “conoid” glass wall overlooking Boston Harbor, the Ellsworth Kelly Boston Panels, the Wall of Honor, a U.S. District Court courtroom, and the First Circuit Library. The tour allows visitors to draw connections between the founding of the federal courts and the art and architecture of the modern courthouse. Visitors are welcome to eat in the public cafeteria overlooking the harbor and/or observe court proceedings.

Is there training for the volunteer docents?
Volunteer docents attend a training session (typically an hour) at the Moakley U.S. Courthouse, where they take a guided and detailed Courthouse tour and receive a Docent Manual. Volunteers also shadow experienced docents, and Discovering Justice staff is always available for assistance. Current docents include former educators as well as attorneys; all interested parties are welcome.

Legal Community Volunteer

Interested in volunteering with one of our programs?
Fill out the form online to get started.

For more information about
Children Discovering Justice Field Trips:
Contact Johnny Sadoff
Tel: 617.748.9639
jsadoff@discoveringjustice.org 
For more information about
Discovering the Bill of Rights and
Stand Up for Your Rights:
Contact Marieljane (MJ) Bastien
Tel: 617.748.9641
mjbastien@discoveringjustice.org 
For more information about
Children Discovering Justice
Discovering the Bill of Rights and
Stand Up for Your Rights, Grades 6-8:
Contact Ann Gogol
Tel: 617.748.9642
agogol@discoveringjustice.org  
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Volunteer as a Docent

Discovering Justice seeks docents to lead one-hour long tours.
No prior experience is necessary.

To download details on this program click here.

For more information about Courthouse Tours
please contact Danielle White at
dwhite@discoveringjustice.org 
or 617.748.9639

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