The high school law institute
by: ariana alvarado, nusrat afrin, '18
The High School Law Institute is a yearlong program, consisting of two semesters, where students have an opportunity to learn about criminal and constitutional laws as well as practice for a mock trial which takes place at the end of the Spring term yearly. A mock trial is similar to a Moot Court, which is an oral debate where students compete against two other high schools. Currently, students are able to take these Law Institution classes at either NYU or Columbia.
The program allows students to have a deeper understanding of how complex law can be. Students are given cases that are both, hypothetical and real-world situated. It can be challenging to figure out how to take the same words from a paper and make it sound different when it is applied to each case. Students who are involved in this program get the opportunity to meet with current law students and are provided the necessary help with the college application process. “This program has taught me independence and responsibility, as well as developed my analytical skills. Most importantly, I have been able to carry them with me everywhere, especially school,” says Ashley Nelson, a Public Service and Law student. Students who are accepted to this program will go through rigorous analytical skills, frequent group discussions, and classroom activities that will enhance their confidence allowing them to make better judgements and interactions with others.
Students who have been involved with this program, in the past, are willing to become a part of the program once again because of their experience. The application process for the High School Law Institute is fairly easy and can be done online by providing contact information and answering questions regarding the participant's interest in the program. Participant Kiara Marte states,“The process is fairly easy. I was accepted through an application online.” Mr. Cichon, Public Service and Law teacher, had also announced the opportunity for all students to apply for this program. He encouraged all his students to consider this program and take advantage of this ‘wonderful opportunity’.
The High School Law Institute has allowed students to have experiences in the field of law. “This program allowed me to have a deeper understanding of our legal system and how laws impact our society” says student Kiara Marte. As well, student Kelvin Flores can only expect this experience to be “thrilling and realistic” being his first time within this program.
Students that become involved in this program have the ability to work with others and can get the knowledge that they need about the law system of the United States. Mainly, this program is lead by the students themselves who want to pursue in the field of law. There are however, teachers present to assist on elaborating on the subject of law. “I see this program more than just a simple opportunity to expand my knowledge about law, it would also help me gain awareness of how to defend my rights” says Kelvin Flores.
The High School Law Institute has helped these participants not only allow them to elaborate on their study of law, but help them in the real world as well.