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May 2009

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Students Learn in Courtroom Programs

In May, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania observed Law Day and Juror Appreciation Day by hosting high school students from 50 local schools. The program focused on an actual Supreme Court case as a way to acquaint students with teen-relevant legal issues and the human side of the justice system. Under the direction of Judge Cynthia M. Rufe (E.D. Pa.) (photo center), activities were held in courtrooms in Philadelphia, Allentown, and Reading with the help of 14 federal judges and more than 50 volunteer attorneys.

Students heard trial arguments from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Federal Public Defender’s Office, and other lawyers. They also served as jurors and worked with attorneys to prepare oral arguments before student Supreme Court “justices.” Participating students reported that the event motivated them to serve willingly on a jury when called.