Grade Level: 9-12
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.
Public Education Coordinator
Office of the Court Administrator
1301 Pennsylvania Street, Ste. 300
Denver, CO 80203
303-861-1111 or 1-800-888-0001
in the Community Website