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Directory of Civic Education Programs in Colorado

Courts in the Community
Curriculum
Staff Development
Special Student Event
Customized teaching materials based on cases to be heard. Twelve additional lessons covering the Colorado judiciary available online. Workshops. Visit by Colorado Supreme Court or Court of Appeals to high school for actual oral arguments.


Grade Level:
9-12

Description:
Courts in the Community is the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals' educational outreach program. It gives high school students hands-on experience in how the Colorado judicial system actually works and illustrates how disputes are resolved in a democratic society. The Courts travel to high schools in Colorado to hear two oral arguments at each location. These are not mock trials! They are actual oral arguments from which rulings are determined. Cases are chosen by specifically targeting the interests of students. Each Court issues its rulings anywhere from one to nine months after hearing the arguments.

Four to six weeks prior to the arguments, a three-hour teacher’s workshop is presented at the school. Oral arguments are generally held in the morning. The formal event begins with opening remarks welcoming the audience and explaining the format of the proceedings. The court hears two oral arguments during the visit. A question and answer session between the students and participating lawyers follows each argument. The judges or justices join the open dialogue with the students at the conclusion of the second session. A luncheon traditionally hosted by the local bar associations, school, and court wraps up the activities. During this lunch, students selected by their teachers have the opportunity to eat and converse with the justices or judges. Participating lawyers and members of the community can also be invited, depending upon resources.

Contact:
Karen Salaz
Public Education Coordinator
Office of the Court Administrator
1301 Pennsylvania Street, Ste. 300
Denver, CO 80203
303-861-1111 or 1-800-888-0001
Karen.Salaz@judicial.state.co.us
Courts in the Community Website