Judges in the Classroom is a program developed by the Chief Justice's Power of Democracy Steering Committee to connect volunteer jurists with teachers wanting assistance delivering lessons about the judicial branch, the Constitution, rule of law, and related topics. 

Step 1: Sign-Up

Complete the form below and you'll be matched with a K-12 school or judge in your region. You only need to fill this form once. You may edit your profile at any time. 

Step 2: Coordinate

Once a match is made, the teacher and judge coordinate directly. Our matching system will notify you if or when a judge is available. Note: judges may require requests up to 6 weeks in advance due to their busy court calendars.

Step 3: Evaluate

Students, teachers, and judges are all asked to complete a simple survey to measure the effectiveness of the lesson. This will help the development of lessons in the future.

Lesson Plans

The following lessons are available for judges to download and deliver to classrooms. Teachers may request a specific lesson from the grid below. 
Note: Teachers and judges may decide to create a lesson together to best serve the needs of the classroom.
Lesson: Grades: Objectives:
"No Animals Allowed": Introduction to the Judicial Branch 1-5 45 min 1) Review the three branches of government.
2) Discover the judicial branch role of “interpreting” the law fairly and equally. 3) Practice critical thinking as they apply a law.
Salem Witch Trial 5-8  50 mins 1) Identify and explain the 3 branches of government, with a focus on the judicial branch.
2) Compare and contrast a historic court case with and without the Bill of Rights.
3) Apply and analyze the Bill of Rights, with a focus on Amendments 6 and 7.
"No Vehicles Allowed": Introduction to the Judicial Branch 5-8 50 mins 1) Identify the purpose and function of law.
2) Discover the intent of lawmakers.
3) Analyze practical applications of a law.
4) Appreciate that laws may be subject to different interpretations.

Riley v. California

Accompanying PowerPoint

9-12 50 mins

1) Analyze the 4th Amendment.
2) Apply the 4th Amendment and case precedent to specific case studies.
3) Weigh issues of public safety/security with individual rights from a constitutional framework; and
4) Determine the flow of a case throughout the state courts.

Teachers: Request a Judge to Visit

Every effort will be made to pair your class with an available jurist in response to your request. 

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Judges: Volunteer to Visit a Classroom

Note: The program is unable to actively seek teachers for those judges interested in making presentations.

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