Elon Law students teach at high schools in Street Law course
For the fifth consecutive year, Elon Law students taught at public high schools through an innovative Street Law course offered in the spring semester.
Street Law programs enable law students to teach practical legal information to high school students, encouraging greater awareness among teens about the impact of law on society while providing law students with opportunities to enhance legal skills and knowledge of law.
Elon Law student participants in the 2013 Street Law course included Matthew K. Andrews, Susan Kasek Brown, Michael Bunch, Bryce C. Couture, Joseph M. Doren, Sally Duncan, Stephen Hegedus, Laura E. Hill, Andrew Marshall, Thomas F. Prendergast, Courtney Roller and Merrill E. Ward.
“A practical legal education is especially valuable for today's teenagers who face exposure to drugs, alcohol and worse,” said Susan Kasek Brown, a member of the Class of 2013 at Elon Law and a participant in the Street Law class. “Many of them think they know their rights and legal responsibilities under the law. Street Law tests that knowledge through games, role-playing, mock trial and exposure to a real-world court system. Breaking down complex legal concepts into words and lessons that resonated with teenagers was an educational challenge, but incredibly rewarding.”
Through the course, law students prepare teens to participate in a mock trial held at the end of the semester. Law students offer instruction on opening statements, direct- and cross-examinations, and closing arguments among other things.
The national Street Law website explains, “Law students teach not only law but also the human rights and democratic values upon which a legal system should be based. They also ask students to examine whether the laws and legal system should be changed to better reflect these values.”
The course is taught by Larry D. Brown, Jr., of the Law Offices Of Larry D. Brown Jr., PLLC, who is a former Assistant District Attorney for Alamance County and a member of the extended faculty at Elon Law. Through the course, Elon students have taught at several public schools in Greensboro, including Dudley High School, Page High School, The Academy at Lincoln and Ragsdale High School. Elon law professor Steve Friedland directed a Street Law program at another law school for a decade prior to joining Elon as a member of the founding faculty of the law school. He sponsored the creation of the program at Elon during the 2008-2009 academic year.
In addition to teaching, law students met weekly for one hour or more to discuss legal doctrine and pedagogy. They also wrote an academic critique of a legal topic related to the course as a final paper. Each law student taught at least two hours per week throughout the semester.
The Street Law program exists in more than 70 law schools. Click here for additional information about the program.