Educational Resources: Judges in the Classroom
Judges in the Classroom
What Is Law-Related Education (LRE)?
According to the Law-Related Education Act of 1978...the term law-related education means education to equip non-lawyers with knowledge and skills pertaining to the law, the legal process, and the legal system. Law-Related Education helps students develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, and attitudes necessary to function effectively in a pluralistic, democratic society based on the rule of law.
- LRE is about real issues as they affect real people.
- LRE teaches students to reason through hard questions and to grapple with realistic problems.
- LRE is active. It teaches because it involves the participants.
- LRE uses case studies, role plays, mock trials, and other active instruction techniques.
- LRE is a proven way to improve younger peoples self-image, attitudes, and their knowledge about law and government.
- LRE can make a difference.
What Is JITC?
- Judges from Washington State Courts teach law-related education (LRE) to grades K-12.
- The program is not an isolated visit. It is a part of the teachers overall curriculum.
- Judges are given lesson plans for the instruction.
- Over 30 lessons were developed by the Institute for Citizens Education in the Law, based at the Seattle University School of Law.
- Each lesson gives the judge explicit instructions along with accompanying handouts for students. Select lessons feature short videos to spark interest.
- The judges lead group discussions and encourage student participation.
What Do Students Gain From LRE?
- LRE builds students' conceptual and practical understanding of the law and legal process.
- LRE provides:
- An increased understanding of the role of the justice system in our society.
- A foundation for improving civic skills.
- An ability to work within the legal system to settle grievances.
- An understanding of the basis for rules.
Roles People Play
- AOC will coordinate between judges and teachers.
- AOC will provide lesson plans and other materials.
- The AOC LRE coordinator will pair judges and teachers.
- The AOC will also assist in scheduling visits to courts (still in planning state) and any other tasks necessary for participation in the program.
- Teachers interested in the program may contact AOC, by phone or mail (see below), or by using the online Request a Judge form.
- The teacher is sent an information sheet along with a list of available judicial lessons (now available on the Internet at www.courts.wa.gov/education/).
- The teacher selects lessons applicable for his/her classroom. A list of the lessons along with the completed information sheet is returned to AOC.
- AOC then contacts a judge and pairs him/her with that teacher.
For more information about Judges in the Classroom, Please contact:
Administrative Office of the Courts
1206 Quince Street SE
PO Box 41170
Olympia, WA 98504-1170