Outreach & Education Resources

Resource Highlights

The below resources include a mix of materials developed by the Judicial Council of California, local courts, the California Bar Association, and other non-profit civic education organizations. The resources may be useful in conducting community outreach and educating students about the role of an independent judiciary in our democracy.

Judge Joan Weber of the Superior Court of San Diego County has generously shared the mock trials she developed and conducted with students. Contact Judge Weber for mock trial production advice and or any questions.  

Elementary School Mock Trial A

Elementary School Mock Trial B

Elementary School Mock Trial C

Elementary School Mock Trial D

Salem Witch Trial Scripts 1 & 2

Murder Mock Trial

On My Honor Mock Trial 

What's Happening in Court?
This is interactive book, available on-line and in print, has fun activities and useful information to help elementary students who may be in court for any reason, whether they are visitors or witnesses or are involved in a case. Produced by the Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC), the book has been widely distributed to schools and courts in California and is available both online and in print in English and Spanish. What's Happening in Court? has also been reproduced by other state court systems.

Courts in the Classroom
This on-line resource uses stories in an interactive graphic-novel format to engage students in grades 8-12 in learning about the judicial branch. The website includes colorfully illustrated stories of landmark cases, as well as modules on due process, checks and balances, and the role of the court in civil and criminal law. Modules of the website work well as part of a presentation to students.

Courtroom to Classroom
This popular program is used by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County and is available to all California courts. It provides resources and support for judge and attorney teams to visit classrooms, two times during the school year, to engage students in lessons and moot court activities. The materials are designed for 8th grade U.S. History, 11th grade U.S. History, and 12th grade Government courses. Register on this website to receive the PowerPoint presentations and lesson plans.

Case of the Stolen Car Mock Trial
Created by staff at the Superior Court of Contra Costa County, this mock trial includes the part of a narrator who explains the proceedings. Mock Trial. Verdict Form.

DUI trials in the Schools
Courts conduct real DUI trials or sentencing in schools, where teachers combine the experience with classroom instruction to help students better understand the consequences of driving under the influence and how the justice system works. The Judicial Council of California has developed a model curriculum to be used before the pretrial/sentencing, as well as after post-trial/sentencing to enhance student learning.

iCivics
Developed by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, this website for middle school students features interactive, animated games through which students learn about the judicial, executive and legislative branches. The games are fun and educational, and can be linked to your court's website.

Importance of an Impartial Judiciary (PowerPoint)
This PowerPoint was originally designed for young adults by the Sacramento Superior Court; however, this version has been received so enthusiastically by adult audiences that the court now presents this version to everyone. This is an interactive presentation that uses sports as an analogy to describe the role of the courts, and provides historical context and information about the role of the judiciary and impartiality. The notes section on each slide provides a complete guide to making the presentation.

Kids and the Law: An A-toZ Guide for Parents
Kids and the Law is a close-up look at laws that define children's rights and responsibilities. Topics covered include alcohol, cars and traffic laws, civil laws and lawsuits, criminal law, curfew laws, drugs, emancipation, fighting and violence, gangs, graffiti, guns and other weapons, juvenile court, parents' rights and responsibilities, dealing with the police, privacy, school rules, sex, smoking, stealing, truancy, and vandalism. This is a helpful resource for parents, teachers, counselors, youth program coordinators, and others who supervise, care for, and teach California's children.

When you are 18 Pamphlet
Also published by the State Bar of California, When You Become 18 is in the same easy to read and colorful format, but addresses a number of issues important to young adults, including information about laws related to: alcohol, banking, contracts, credit, employment, hate crimes, jury duty, military service, and voting.

Youth Court
California has an extensive network of youth courts also known as teen, peer, or student courts. Under the Judicial Council-approved model, an adult judge presides over this collaborative justice juvenile court proceeding where a youth offender's case is heard in front of a jury of youth peers. In addition to the youth defendant and the youth jury, young people assume the roles of the prosecution, defense, and bailiff. Youth representing various peer/youth court programs and adult staff and volunteers from across the state gather at an annual summit to strengthen their skills and share best practices. The National Association of Youth Courts is the clearinghouse for teen court resources. 

“Grab and Go” Outreach Resources

Impartial Courts
This PowerPoint presentation was developed by the Sacramento County Superior Court and includes talking points for the presenter. Developed initially for student audiences, judges find that this presentation also works well with adults.

Informed Voters, Fair Judges
A project of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), the Informed Voters project has a full packet of presentation tools including PowerPoints, handouts, videos, and step-by-step activities.

Our Government and the CA Court System (PowerPoint)
This Power Point Presentation was developed by the Judicial Council Center for Judicial Education and Research as an educational overview of the California judicial branch. It begins with this quiz and includes talking points.

Preserving the Rule of Law 
The American Bar Association (ABA) developed a guide, PowerPoint, and speakers notes on the topic “Preserving the Rule of Law.”  In addition, the ABA’s Public Dialogue program provides materials for conducting dialogues on a variety of topics. (A small fee is charged for some resources.)


Speakers Bureau

The Foundation for Democracy and Justice, a non-profit organization in Sacramento, is organizing a Speakers Bureau focused on education for adults about the courts. Contact: Sosan Madanat, Executive Director, (916) 930-1220, smadanat@fdjca.org


Programs

Court-Clergy Conferences
Court/Clergy Conferences bring together religious leaders and judicial officers for a day-long structured dialogue about the justice system. Congregants often seek advice from their clergy when they are confronted with legal proceedings, for instance, when a family member is arrested. A sample of 

Los Angeles County Superior Court holds these events regularly, attracting an average 120 attendees. Contact: communityoutreach@lacourt.org

Sacramento County Superior Court event page

San Bernardino County Superior Court News Release 

San Diego County Superior Court News Release

Court-Community Liaison Program
The Court and Community Leadership and Liaison Program establishes a bridge between the Court and various ethnic and immigrant communities as well as the disabled community. Participants take part in an Academy organized by the court.  San Joaquin County Superior Court. Contact: (209) 992-5287

Achieving Judicial Diversity in the CA Courts Toolkit
Developed by the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness, this online publication includes tools for conducting a Judicial mentoring program for lawyers, as well as other diversity outreach programs. The toolkit is in the process of being updated. Contact: Kyanna Williams, (415) 865-7911 Kyanna.Williams@jud.ca.gov

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