Broad community support can improve the educational aspects of the program, help the program expand, and increase demand and sustainability for the program. Here are some tips and techniques to help you succeed:
Utilize Community Resource People
- Teach law students the value of involving community resource people in their classroom or community settings. The more they integrate good resource people into their lessons, the more support will be generated for the program.
- Reach out and include people from community leadership positions in your program. For example, invite the social studies coordinator for the local school district to be a judge in a mock trial, ask the principal to come to the class for a lesson on school law or rules, invite the local juvenile court judge to serve in a mock mediation or arbitration, or invite a suicide prevention person to come and discuss the importance of listening in the conflict resolution process. Identify organizations or constituencies whose support is important and contact them to identify a list of willing volunteers. Provide the list to your law students, along with encouragement or requirements to involve someone from the list as a resource person.
- See more tips and techniques for working with community resource people
Form an Advisory Board
Identify people in the community who you would like to have on an advisory board for your project. You can begin this in a formal or informal way. A formal advisory board would have periodic meetings to address project sustainability or growth. An informal advisory board could be community leaders who are willing to respond by phone or email to requests for advice on certain topics.
Conduct Informational Meetings
Convene informational meetings with representatives from potential teaching sites. Have law students conduct a mini‐lesson to demonstrate the power of Street Law then discuss the possibilities for the various settings.
Publicity and Website
- Remember that your program’s web presence is a part of your public face. Highlighting your community involvement by focusing on the contributions made by resource people and law students will help build support for your program.
- Notify a local or regional law publication about the involvement of any prominent community members in your program.
- Work with law school, school system/community site communications staff to develop website, newsletter, and/or magazine articles and news releases about the program.