RI Attorneys Volunteer for Schools, for Kids

Lise Iwon, the president of the Rhode Island Bar Association, sent out the following message to encourage attorneys to get involved in improving education in our state.

The Rhode Island Bar Association regularly receives requests from schools, non-profit organizations, and other institutions seeking volunteer attorneys to share their legal knowledge. The Bar’s Law Related Education (LRE) volunteer participation times are limited to no more than two hours, and most are shorter. Requests are made through the Rhode Island Bar Association’s Lawyers in the Classrooms, Speakers Bureau, and the Annual Rhode Island Law Day program.

This invitation is open to all Bar members!  Many of you have told me that you wished you had more volunteer speaking engagements, and that you want to be involved in Law Day each and every year. (We have more lawyers willing to speak than we have requesters. Can you believe it?)

If you have previously served as a law related education volunteer, please complete the online application to ensure our database is current with your continuing interest. Please click on the following link to sign up for the Bar’s Student and Adult Law Related Education programs and/or to indicate your interest in learning more about other law related education programs noted more specifically below, iCivics and Mock Trial. [click here to access the online signup form]

Our Chief Justice Paul Suttell, along with other Chief Justices throughout the nation, has recently committed to promote Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s innovative iCivics program.  This free, online civics education resource includes games, lesson plans and interactive activities.  The vision and passion of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, this program is designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy.  The iCivics website is a resource for educators and parents teaching about the Constitution, Bill of Rights and three branches of government through free, online game play.   Educators will be encouraged to invite lawyers to volunteer in their classroom and provide information as requested by these consumers. Check the iCivics website at: http://www.icivics.org/ and fill-in the appropriate check box on the online sign-up form  if this looks like something you’d like to get involved in..

The Rhode Island Legal/Educational Partnership, Inc. offers the annual Rhode Island Mock Trial Tournament where students form teams and assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a given case.  Under the guidance of a lawyer and teacher, the students prepare both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s cases.  Members of the Rhode Island Judiciary preside over tournament trials and attorneys act as performance judges.  Tournaments are offered at both the senior high/upper school and junior high/middle school levels.  Bar members interested in learning more about the Mock Trial program may check the appropriate box in the linked application form noted above.

I hope you’ll get involved in law related education with your Bar Association.  I know from experience that being involved in these educational opportunities will only inspire you and remind you why it was you went to law school!

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