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Street Law, Inc.

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

Street Law / About / About Us

About Us

On this page: How we began | What we do | Who we serve | Where we’re active | Who we are | How you can help

We’re Street Law—a nonprofit organization that creates classroom and community programs that teach people about law, democracy, and human rights worldwide. Street Law program participants benefit from “real-life” lessons and insights, which they can use to effect positive change for the rest of their lives. Our accessible, engaging, and interactive programs empower students and communities to become active, legally-savvy contributors to society.

How we began

Street Law’s impact has been profound, but our beginnings were modest. Street Law began in 1972, when a small group of Georgetown University Law Center students developed an experimental curriculum to teach District of Columbia high school students about law and the legal system. Because of its practical nature, the course was called “Street Law.”

Over time, the Street Law curriculum evolved from a binder of loose-leaf lesson plans to a range of programs and publications designed to enhance the teaching of practical law, crime prevention, conflict resolution, youth advocacy, and the fundamental principles of democracy. We’ve also expanded our reach internationally, bringing our expertise in program and curriculum development to democratizing nations around the world. Today, our myriad programs serve thousands of people every year, worldwide.

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What we do

Street Law develops classroom and grassroots programs that educate students and communities about law, democracy, and human rights. Some of our initiatives bring us directly into classrooms and neighborhoods. However, the majority of our efforts, including our popular professional development programs, are focused on training others—individuals and organizations—to become effective Street Law educators. Our approach is practical, relevant, and experiential, blending legal content with innovative hands-on teaching strategies that actively engage students and program participants in the learning process.

When it comes to developing legal curricula, Street Law is a leader. Our groundbreaking textbook, Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, now in its eighth edition, is used in classrooms across the U.S. We’ve authored hundreds of lessons on law, democracy, human right, public policy, crime prevention, conflict resolution, and youth advocacy.

By helping to improve the teaching of law and understanding of relevant legal principles, Street Law empowers youths and adults to use their knowledge to solve problems and better their communities, and motivates them to become active participants in society.

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Who we serve

Teachers and Educators

If you’re a teacher, principal, or school administrator looking to engage your students around issues of law, democracy, and human rights, we can help. Street Law, Inc. offers a wide range of practical, accessible, and interactive curricula as well as unmatched professional development opportunities for educators. Our groundbreaking textbook, Street Law: A Course in Practical Law is the most popular and widely-used practical law text in the United States and has been adapted for use in more than a dozen countries. 

Lawyers, Law Students, and the Legal Community

Street Law is the brainchild of a group of visionary law students, back in 1972. Decades later we continue our close ties with the legal community. We provide a rich, interactive curricula and myriad programs that enable lawyers, law students, paralegals, and judges to teach practical law in schools and in their communities.

Non-governmental Organizations

Street Law, Inc. has a wide variety of programs and curricula ideal for enriching the work of NGOs. Organizations have partnered with us to educate underserved populations—including pregnant and parenting teens, youth who are aging out of foster care, and young people in the juvenile justice system. Other NGOs have employed the Street Law curricula to educate young people and adults in democratizing countries about the fundamental principles of democracy. If you are interested in ways in which Street Law can help your organization provide high-quality education about law, democracy, and human rights, talk to us—the possibilities are endless.

Juvenile Justice Professionals

Street Law, Inc. has a long and fruitful track record of partnering with juvenile justice professionals to serve court-involved youth. Across the nation correctional educators, youth workers, probation officers, and clinical staff attest to the benefits of our training and curricula. Street Law’s programs give young people essential legal knowledge, while helping them expand their cognitive skills, foster self-reliance, and inspiring them to be positive resources within their communities. Our programs have been effective in detention, diversion, correctional, and alternative schools, as well as in probation, after-care, re-entry, and other community settings.

Law Enforcement Officers

For more than 20 years, law enforcement officers have been vital Street Law partners. We offer training and curricula to support community-based police officers and officers assigned to work in schools. These programs blend substance and strategy, educating young people about law, the legal system, their rights, and their responsibilities. Students and officers alike benefit from the cooperative learning and positive interaction between youths and adults. It’s no wonder that a national evaluation of law-related education found that classes that incorporate police officers have the most powerful effect on delinquency prevention.

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Where we’re active

Street Law’s programs empower people in every state in the United States and in more than 40 countries throughout Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Worldwide, we serve thousands of Street Law educators every year.

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Who we are

Street Law, Inc. is a nonprofit organization located just outside of Washington, DC. Our active 20-member Board of Directors and five-member Honorary Board are made up of dedicated experts in the fields of law, government, public policy, human rights, justice, and education. Street Law’s daily operations are managed by our staff, with vital support from hundreds of worldwide partner schools, organizations, companies, law firms, and government agencies. 

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How you can help

As a 501(c)(3) organization, Street Law relies on the generous support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to broaden our reach and sustain our success. Your financial contribution assures that our vital educational programs will continue to have a positive, transformational effect on the lives of young people both here in the United States and abroad. For more information on how you can contribute to Street Law, please visit our Donate page.

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