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.