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About Educational Outreach

Trust resources and activities that meet best practices and academic standards. Stimulate the critical thinking and civil discussion skills of future jurors and invested citizens.

These original, courtroom-ready and classroom-ready resources are the centerpiece of the federal courts’ national and local educational outreach to high school students and their teachers. They simplify complex concepts and motivate participants to serve on juries willingly when called. Please let us know how we are doing.

Unique Niche: Courts, Judges, and Teen Issues

Classroom and courtroom activities apply contemporary Supreme Court cases to today’s teen issues, creating a unique niche in civics education.  Court simulations offer real-life experiences with judges and attorneys at local federal courthouses. All participants are involved in the courtroom action, most importantly, as jurors.  The activities are supported by interactive web resources and multimedia tools, including videos and podcasts on court fundamentals.

Local Court Involvement

Federal judges across the nation host in-court events for high school students and programs for teachers. To find a nearby federal court, go to the court locator or contact the National Outreach Manager at Outreach@ao.uscourts.gov.

Open Doors to Federal Courts

Open Doors to Federal Courts is a national initiative that local federal judges conduct in their courtrooms. The annual event, which is presided over by the host judge, involves students in realistic legal dilemmas. Volunteer attorneys coach the students during the program. The topic is a new, teen-relevant issue every year.

To find out if your local federal court is participating, contact the National Outreach Manager for the Federal Courts at Outreach@ao.uscourts.gov.

Theme: Facing Off on Facebook 
Elonis v. U.S. – Artistic Expression or Serious Threat?

Elonis v. U.S. was the first case the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear that involved social media. The Court’s decision has an impact on social media users, including students.

The case-related resources for this annual, national initiative are ready for immediate use in a classroom or in a courtroom simulation presided over by a federal judge and coached by volunteer attorneys. Students apply the precedent set in Elonis v. U.S. to a relatable Facebook situation in which they could find themselves. In the courtroom or classroom activity all students serve as jurors and deliberate on the timely issues raised in the scenario. 

Enrichment Activities and Resources

Enrichment activities and resources dealing with the federal courts, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution bring realistic court experiences into the lives of high school students.