One Courthouse Way Boston, Ma 02210-3002
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Our missionDiscovering Justice’s mission is to prepare young people to value the justice system, realize the power of their own voices, and embrace civic responsibility by connecting classrooms and courtrooms.

Discovering Justice

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Mock Trial Volunteer Attorney

The Mock Trial Program propels middle school students into the role of trial lawyers. With the support of attorney volunteers, students tackle age-appropriate legal problems, focusing on either the First or Fourth Amendment as applied in public schools. Students engage in legal analysis and ultimately try a case in a real courtroom before an actual judge and a jury made up of community members.
  • Weekly
  • 21+, 55+
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays

Children Discovering Justice (CDJ) Volunteer Attorney

Volunteers assist with CDJ field trips in courtrooms. With guidance from a Discovering Justice staff member and volunteers, the students read and discuss a hypothetical court case and then, in small groups, craft opening statements and closing arguments, as well as witness questions. The small group work culminates with a mock trial, jury deliberation, and a verdict from the students.
  • One-time, Occasional, Monthly
  • 21+, 55+
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekdays

Stand Up for Your Rights Volunteer Attorney

Stand Up for Your Rights transforms middle school students into appellate lawyers. Woking with a team of attorney volunteers for 11 weeks, students delve into the Bill of Rights, explore how constitutional protections apply in public school, and come to understand the complexities of balancing the rights of individuals with the safety and welfare needs of communities.
  • Weekly
  • 21+, 55+
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays

Discovering the Bill of Rights (DBR) Volunteer Attorney

Volunteer attorneys assist on DBR field trips. Students receive a courtroom simulation that introduces the facts of the case. The volunteer attorney then reviews the Bill of Rights with the students, looking closely at the text of the First or Fourth Amendment. Students are divided into legal teams, provided workbooks with guiding questions, and given 20-25 minutes to develop their arguments. The volunteer attorney then takes the bench and presides over the appellate arguments, asking questions to help clarify each student’s analysis.
  • One-time, Occasional, Monthly
  • 21+, 55+
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekdays
How you helpToday, thanks to the efforts of hundreds of supporters and volunteers — judges, lawyers, teachers, business leaders, vendors, students, and parents — more than 93,000 children and adults have taken part in Discovering Justice’s interactive civic education programs.
About usFounded in 1998 with the support of the federal judiciary and the Boston Bar Foundation, Discovering Justice is a recognized leader in civic education. We prepare young people to value the justice system, realize the power of their own voices, and embrace civic responsibility by connecting classrooms and courtrooms. Discovering Justice offers exciting classroom-based and courtroom-based experiences for students. Our programs are designed to fit a range of learning goals and schedules. Discovering Justice places a special emphasis on the needs of children, particularly those from underserved communities.
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