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Open Doors to Federal Courts

Welcome to 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 AOgrp_Outreach@ao.uscourts.gov.


Open Doors National Initiative

Gideon v. Wainwright and Your Right to Counsel

The Supreme Court's landmark decisions in Gideon v. Wainwright and In re Gault have ramifications for teens as well as adults. The resources for a courthouse event or a classroom activity include a re-enactment of the stories of Clarence Gideon (Gideon v. Wainwright) and juvenile Jerry Gault (In re Gault). The highly interactive program includes a discussion with federal public defenders about the right to counsel and the role of public defenders in fulfilling the promise of the Sixth Amendment.