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Street Law, Inc.

Over 40 years of educating about law, democracy, and human rights

Street Law / About / Cy Pres

Cy Pres Awards to Street Law, Inc.

Street Law, Inc. has received funding through several cy pres awards.  The term cy pres is derived from a longer French expression that means “as close as possible.”  In a class action settlement in which it is not possible to distribute all of the money to the class, a cy pres distribution to a charitable non-profit organization whose work benefits the members of the class may be the next best use of a portion of the funds.  The cy pres award should relate to the purposes of the case.  The court approves the cy pres award.

Use of Cy Pres Awards 

Street Law’s educational programs about law, democracy, and human rights include a wide range of law-related topics, and for this reason Street Law has been viewed by courts as an appropriate recipient of cy pres distributions. Street Law, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. 

  • Through a cy pres award in California, Street Law was able to work with the American Antitrust Institute to develop lesson plans that complement a film about antitrust used in high school classrooms. 
  • A cy pres award in Illinois allowed Street Law to partner with the Chicago chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel to begin what is now one of Street Law’s largest diversity pipeline programs.  This program reaches more than 300 students per year in Chicago area high schools.  Street Law’s diversity pipeline programs are designed to encourage talented young people of color to consider careers in the law. These programs teach young people about a variety of civil law topics as well as about legal careers and the need for diversity in the legal profession.
  • A cy pres award helped support Street Law programs for young people in the District of Columbia.  These funds were generated as a result of a lawsuit brought of behalf of demonstrators arrested in violation of their constitutional rights.  The ACLU, which brought the suit, asked the trial court to provide a part of the judgment to Street Law to support its educational mission in DC. This award helped Street Law, Inc. provide professional development for District of Columbia public school teachers.
  • Street Law’s Closing the Gap program was funded through a cy pres award. The goal of this initiative is to increase civic engagement among African American youths in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. Through a three-tiered approach, youths will learn about the importance of civil rights history, its impact on their rights and responsibilities, and how they can be active, engaged members of their communities.

Impact of Street Law Programs 

Street Law works with educators, lawyers, law students, judges, youth workers and police officers to deliver meaningful lessons about law to young people.  Through Street Law’s work, hundreds of schools, law schools, law firms, corporate law departments, courts, juvenile justice agencies, and police departments have initiated programs that have brought interactive lessons about law to tens of thousands of young people.

For more information, contact Lee Arbetman, executive director of Street Law, Inc. (240.821.1310,

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