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.
2013 National Initiative
50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright
and Your Right to Counsel
The 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright is the 2013 focus of the annual Open Doors to Federal Courts national initiative. 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.