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Open Doors to Federal Courts

Open Doors to Federal Courts is a national initiative that local federal judges conduct in their courtrooms. 

The annual Open Doors to Federal Courts event, which is presided over by a host judge, involves students in realistic legal dilemmas. Volunteer attorneys coach the students during the courtroom program, which can be conducted during the academic year on a date agreed upon by the court and the requesting school. 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.