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FAQ Contents
What is law related education?
Law related education involves teaching students about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. It provides students K-12 with active learning opportunities that foster their understanding of the role of law in a democratic society. Students learn about laws and the legal system and how it affects their lives. LRE also stresses the use of outside resource people and the application of LRE to real life situations.
  
What are the benefits of LRE?
  • LRE improves critical thinking, analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Students are actively engaged in the learning process.
  • LRE increases students' knowledge of the law making them better informed citizens.
  • LRE encourages students to respect laws, rules and persons in authority when exposed to a balanced view of our democratic society.
  • LRE can aid in reducing discipline problems in schools.
  • Students learn positive ways to resolve conflict.
  • Students are exposed to members of the legal community in positive ways.
  • Students involved in LRE are less likely to become delinquent.
  • LRE promotes positive self-image in students.
  • LRE promotes community interaction with the schools.

 

How do I get LRE into my school?
LRE Division staff and master LRE teachers are available to make presentations about law related education programming, materials, methodologies and benefits to school boards, school districts, faculty groups and parent groups. To request a presentation, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org.

Law related education is not just for social studies teachers. LRE can be infused into and taught in all subject areas. Teachers can get involved in mock trial, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, We the People: Project Citizen, Foundations of Democracy, Community Works, LawForKids.org, Law For Teachers, or borrow and use materials from the LRE Clearinghouse. LRE curriculums are also available that teach students about drug and violence prevention, the Constitution and Bill of Rights and practical law. For more information contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

What programs, teaching materials and training are available through the LRE Division?
The LRE Division offers a variety of programs for students, materials for teachers and training sessions for teachers and resource officers.

Awards and Scholarships
Community Works
Foundations of Democracy
High School Mock Trial Program
LawForKids.org
Law For Teachers
Middle School Mock Trial Program
Street Law
Supreme Court Institute
Teen Law 101
Training Opportunities
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
We the People: Project Citizen
Youth Courts

For information about the LRE programs contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.
 
What LRE volunteer opportunities are available for lawyers?
Lawyers can become involved in a variety of LRE activities. They can serve on the LRE Committee, coach a mock trial team or serve as a judge for a mock trial competition or the We the People competition. They can volunteer to speak to classes, participate in career day activities or help develop educational materials. For more information about LRE programs or to volunteer, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.
 

Who are the Youth For Justice national partners in LRE?
The S.C. Bar LRE Division also serves as the state coordinator for the Youth for Justice (YFJ) Program, the national coordinated law related education project. With support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of the United States Department of Justice. YFJ's five national organizations and state programs offer a variety of LRE programs and activities. The five cooperating national LRE organizations

Develop curriculum and instructional materials

Support a national network of state and local leaders representing every state

Provide professional staff development for educators, lawyers and juvenile justice professionals

Conduct programs for students, and

Prepare community volunteers as co-instructors and co-leaders in classrooms and community activities for youth

The five national partners are: the American Bar Association's Special Committee on Youth Education for Citizenship (ABA/YEFC), Street Law, Inc., the Center for Civic Education, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (Chicago and Los Angeles) and Phi Alpha Delta Public Service Center (PAD-PSC).

 

Community Works
Community Works is a program targeting middle and high school students that can be implemented in the classroom, after school, or in most any other setting. It provides youth with a practical understanding of crime and crime prevention that is useful in their everyday lives. It can function as a stand-alone program in a school or community setting, or it can be incorporated into a classroom curriculum.

The program involves three components:

  • The curriculum is composed of 31 highly interactive sessions. These sessions are divided into eight topical units. Each session is activity-based and relevant to the lives of young people. Interactive teaching strategies build on the strengths of the young people, and they learn from each other's experiences and insights.
  • Community resource people are involved in every lesson. They are people in the community with whom youth do not normally interact.  They help make the lessons come alive, and they serve as positive role models for the students. 
  • Service learning, or action projects challenge the students to apply what they learned by identifying and addressing a community problem. Youth work together to assess their community's needs, set goals, plan, and reflect on the execution of the process. They complete the program with an increased sense of self-efficacy, and a feeling that they have a role and a stake in the welfare of their community.

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

Foundations of Democracy
Foundations of Democracy is a character education curriculum created by the Center for Civic Education. The curriculum is available for grades K-12 addressing the topics of authority, responsibility, privacy, and justice. The Center for Civic Education's mission is: �"To promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry, committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries.” Students in South Carolina can benefit from the Center for Civic Education's mission by becoming enlightened and active responsible citizens in our community while impacting our state as a whole through the implementation of this program.

Through participation in this program students will increase their basic skills of listening, speaking, writing, reading, problem analysis, and many more attributes to include citizenship and awareness of their Constitution applicable to their daily lives.

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

High School Mock Trial Program
Since 1985, the LRE Division has sponsored the high school mock trial program. The program teaches students about the law and the legal system through participation in a simulated trial. Teams consist of 6-11 students who, with the help of a teacher sponsor and attorney coach(es) learn about the legal process and trial procedure.
Registration materials are usually sent out in early September. Case materials are distributed to registered teams in early November and a training session is conducted via South Carolina Educational Television on January 12. Regional competitions are usually in late February. Regional winners advance to the state competition in early March. The state winner is eligible to participate in the National High School Mock Trial Championship held each year in May.
 

LawForKids.org
LawForKids.org is a website for students, parents, teachers, and school resource officers to go in order to find correct answers to legal questions, stories about the law from the perspective of young people, a searchable database of South Carolina specific laws, lesson plans, and hundreds of Law Related Education links.  If your question has not already been answered, ask the question anonymously and it will be answered by a volunteer attorney here in South Carolina.  Go to LawForKids.org and select South Carolina from the United States map.

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

Law for Teachers
Law for Teachers is a program designed to give teachers an informative and practical guide to the legal issues they face every day in the classroom.  The program is offered through an expanded three-day training conducted by the LRE Law for Teachers Subcommittee and local experts in the South Carolina legal community.  Topic areas include: legal foundations, contracts and due process rights, FERPA, Disciplinary actions, tort liability, Title IX, copyright laws, and many more. 

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

Middle School Mock Trial Program
The LRE Division provides support and technical assistance for regional middle school mock trial competitions in the Upstate, Midlands and Coastal regions of the state. Each regional competition has it's own coordinator who sets the competition schedule. Competition is usually held in the fall on a Saturday. There is no statewide middle school competition.
Teams of up to 14 students prepare both sides of a fictional case. The students play the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Teams will try both sides of the case against opponents chosen in a random draw. Lawyers and judges serve as presiding and scoring judges for the competition. The top two teams after two rounds advance to a final round. The top teams receive awards as do students recognized as the Most Effective Attorney or Most Effective Witness during each trial of the competition.

Mock Trial Discussion
Click here to join in on the High School Discussion or here to join the Middle School Mock Trial Discussion.

For information about the mock trial program contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

School Resource Officer opportunities
LRE offers training content areas during the Basic and Advanced School Resource Officer (SRO) classes offered by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.  Through Basic SRO, an overview of law related education programming is offered.  In Advanced SRO class, officers are trained on LRE best practices, and provided training materials to teach in the classroom in their assigned school.  To register for either of these courses, please contact the SC Criminal Justice Academy at 803-896-7777.

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

Street Law
Street Law is a course in practical law. It began as a project at Georgetown Law Center in 1972. Four law students and their professor were looking for a way to provide young people with information about the law that would assist them in their daily lives, offering a preventive law approach that would also provide students with knowledge of what to do when confronted with a legal problem. The name Street Law represents the content of the course -- practical law important in a person's everyday life, on the street. Information is presented through student-centered activities that enable teens to develop the skills they need to use Street Law's information and to be effective citizens. Most often, Street Law is taught as a one-semester social studies elective. In some schools a full-year elective exists. Some schools use Street Law: A Course In Practical Law as a part of, or in place of, a government course. The text may also be used by teachers of practical business law courses.

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139. 

Supreme Court Institute
The Supreme Court of South Carolina and the South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division through an IOLTA grant from the SC Bar Foundation are offering an interactive learning institute, the "South Carolina Supreme Court Institute," for middle and high school teachers statewide to encourage a better understanding and appreciation for the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  To accomplish this goal, the SC Supreme Court program is offered over the course of four and a half days.  As a result of attending this institute, attendees will have a better understanding of the Supreme Court and how it relates to everyone in their daily lives.  The institute will focus on including outside resource persons to include SC Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal along with fellow justices and various judges representing the Federal Court, Family Court, Circuit Court, and Court of Appeals.

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

Teacher List Service
The South Carolina Bar has begun a list service called LRE Teacher listserv.  If you are interested in receiving law related education information in this format, please contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or 803-252-5139.

Teen Law 101
Teen Law 101 is a program of the South Carolina Bar LRE Division to provide young adults with the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about legal issues affecting them.  Teen Law 101 serves as a good starting point for the answers to basic questions about the law.  For more advanced questions about the law, or to ask something that has not been a part of the Teen Law 101 information, please see LawForKids.org.

For more information, contat the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

Training Opportunities
LRE Division staff and master LRE teachers are available to conduct in-service presentations for school and district in-services. In addition, the LRE Division sponsors a number of training sessions on a variety of topics. For more information about training click here or, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program is an instructional program on the history and principles of American constitutional democracy for elementary, middle and high school students. The program is based on curricular materials developed by the Center and acclaimed by leading educators. It culminates in a competitive simulated congressional hearing where the entire class, working in cooperative teams, prepares and presents statements before a panel of community representatives who act as congressional committee members. Students then answer questions posed by the committee members. The format provides students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles while providing teachers with an excellent means of assessing performance. The rewards the students gain are phenomenal, both by way of content understanding and performance skills. Students who prepare to compete must develop problem solving, coordination, team building, research, writing and public speaking skills. These skills are directly related to the rich content of the We the People…The Citizen and the Constitution program that ultimately builds citizenship potential among student participants.

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.

We the People: Project Citizen
We the People: Project Citizen is a public policy curriculum designed for grades 6-9. Students research a problem in their community and develop the public policy to address the problem. The curriculum enhances students' communication, reading, writing and research skills and helps them develop problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as teamwork.

The program teaches student's to:

  • Identify a public policy problem in their community
  • Study; gather and evaluate information on the problem from a variety of sources
  • Examine and evaluate existing a proposed policies designed to deal with the problem
  • Select or develop a proposed public policy designed to deal with the problem and evaluate its consistency with constitutional principles, and
  • Develop a proposed action plan to show how they might attempt to influence their government to adopt their proposed policy

A limited number of free classroom sets are available. A statewide in-service is usually held in the early fall.

For more information about Project Citizen contact the LRE Division at (803) 252-5139, or e-mail lre@scbar.org.

Youth Court
Youth Court is one of the fastest growing youth diversion programs in the nation. In South Carolina, there are 35 separate youth courts serving many different communities and schools. In communities, youth court is a juvenile diversion option intended to keep young people with no criminal record out of the juvenile justice system, allowing them a second chance to maintain their clean juvenile records. In schools, youth court can handle actual criminal offenses in which the School Resource Officer is involved, or it can be inserted into the discipline code to handle violations of school rules. Youth Court functions like a traditional court with all the key roles in place. The difference is that all of those roles are played by youth. Youth Courts utilize positive peer pressure as their primary mode of operation. They can be implemented in a variety of forms, but in all forms, youth serve to hear charges and impose a disposition. Youth Court provides a fascinating opportunity to positively impact the young people of this state, while simultaneously educating youth offenders and non-offenders about the law and the judicial process.

For more information, contact the LRE Division at lre@scbar.org, or call 803-252-5139.