Why take Street Law?

Street Law allows law students to develop necessary skills that will enable them become better lawyers. Throughout the program law students learn the intricacies of negotiations, criminal law and procedure, human rights law, advocacy and court procedure by preparing and teaching lessons focusing on these subjects. Street law gives law students a chance to work on their public speaking skills multiple times a week and develop critical communication and management skills. Law students develop the ability to teach complex legal information in a succinct yet comprehensive manner that allows high school students of varying backgrounds to understand the information.

Additionally, Street Law is great way to reach beyond the walls of law school in order to make connections with others and understand how the law affects the surrounding community.

How do I enroll?

Enrollment for the Street Law Program occurs on the regular Georgetown Law Center enrollment timeline in the spring semester. No statement of interest or other formal application is required. Preference will be given to students applying for both fall and spring courses. Please consult the curriculum guide for more information.

How many credits will I receive for Street Law?

A single semester of enrollment in Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights (fall) or Street Law: Mock Trial Advocacy (spring) is worth 4 credits. An additional credit is awarded for participation in a required one-week orientation for a total of 5 credits. If a student takes both the fall and spring courses, students will receive 5 credits for the first semester and 4 credits for the second semester for a total of 9 credits.

Do I need a car?

Street Law participation is not dependent on access to a car, and every effort is made to accommodate students without a car. Accordingly, we place law students with a car at high schools that are not easily accessible by public transportation.

How are the law students graded?

While Street Law has no exam or paper requirement, substantial research and preparation for teaching will be necessary. Grades are based on faculty observations of law students, quality of lesson plans, law student participation in a weekly seminar, journals, in-seminar demonstration teaching, and submission of a portfolio and reflection based upon work throughout the semester.

What are the requirements of the Street Law Program?

Attendance and participation in the multi-day orientation the week prior to the start of the semester as well as at the two-hour weekly seminar is mandatory. Additionally, students are assigned a D.C. public high school class that they create the lessons for, teach and grade.

Substantial planning and preparation is required to teach. Each law student will teach between 2 to 3 classes per week with most classes lasting between 60-90 minutes in a D.C. high school. It is important to understand that the law student is the primary teacher for their class. This means that law students are responsible for creating lesson plans, preparing materials needed for each class, such as handouts; keeping a record of student work; attendance; and grades.

Additionally, as part of the seminar, law students are required to submit weekly reflections and completing monthly reports documenting lessons, experiences, and student work. Law students participate in periodic consultations and review course submissions with faculty (law students are typically observed at least 3 times per semester).

Although there is no standard final exam, law students are required to submit a portfolio and self-assessment at the end of the semester during their exit interview. Law students must also comply with the Law Center’s Culture of Care for working with minors and obtain a substitute teaching or other certification from DCPS. Street Law requirements are set forth in more detail in the Program Handbook.

How much time will the Street Law Program require?

Law students typically teach between 2-3 classes each week at one of the D.C. public high schools or charter schools for a total of approximately three to four hours of actual classroom time each week. Each class requires preparation time, which varies depending on the lesson plan you are creating and your experience in the classroom (as the semester unfolds, planning takes less time).

Students also must attend a weekly two-hour seminar that covers methodology, lesson planning, and substantive exposure to legal topics. Students are required to submit lesson plans and journals each month as well as meet with Street Law faculty to discuss progress in their classes.

While textbooks and model lessons are provided, law students must adapt these materials to their own classes and individual styles. Since the law is always changing, law students may need to update and modify materials. Law students typically create unique lessons, as well as assessments, evaluations (e.g., exams, quizzes, and group projects) and homework assignments.

Where will I teach as part of the Street Law Program?

Street Law classes at D.C. high schools are between 8:45 AM and 3:15 PM. Evening placements are between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The primary consideration for law student placement is what D.C. high school or evening placement fits into a student’s class schedule. In scheduling Georgetown classes in preparation for Street Law, the key is to leave large blocks of time available in the mornings, afternoons or evenings (for evening division students) and to keep this block available for all the semesters of participation in Street Law.