group of teachers inside the U.S. Supreme Court

Teacher Professional Development Programs

Skilled teachers make a huge difference in students’ lives. Teacher quality is significantly related to students’ test scores, academic achievement, higher rates of college attendance, and even higher incomes as adults. Teachers are in the classroom with students day in and day out, and have a professional responsibility to help them become active, engaged citizens.

Street Law offers professional development to high school civics, government, history, and law teachers to improve their subject-area knowledge and help them use effective teaching strategies.

Our professional development programs champion and teach strategies that build students’ civic skills and get them to engage deeply with content. We prepare teachers to lead simulations of government processes, and develop students' collaboration, deliberation, communication, advocacy, and problem solving skills.

All Street Law professional development opportunities meet teachers where they are, recognize their professional expertise, and provide connections to and working time with peers. We involve legal experts who offer unique firsthand perspectives on foundational concepts and evolving public issues. Our professional development sessions are supported by a deep portfolio of classroom-ready materials that teachers can adapt and use immediately.

We offer a regular schedule of professional development opportunities and also contract with school districts to design and implement custom offerings.

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lawyer and a high school student shaking hands

Legal Community Partnership Programs

This suite of programs taps the knowledge of lawyers, legal professionals, law students, and police officers, who are trained by Street Law to teach young people about the law.

These subject-matter experts (or "community resource people," as we like to call them) play an important role in delivering high-quality, effective civic education. When incorporated into classroom learning, community resource people can bring the law to life through real-world examples and experiences and serve as powerful positive role models.

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young people teaching a Street Law lesson

Legal Life Skills Program

Many young people and adults lack opportunities to develop the legal knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to thrive and succeed as informed, empowered, and civically-engaged community members. Without access to practical legal knowledge, these populations become vulnerable to higher rates of unemployment, conflict, homelessness, violence, consumer abuse, civic disengagement, and other unfair treatments.

Our Legal Life Skills Program reduces these risks by bringing empowering law-related education to the populations that need it most.

The program enables community-based organizations and government agencies that serve vulnerable populations to integrate Street Law lessons into their program offerings. It can be taught by different types of "instructors"—specifically, organization/agency staff or groups of volunteers from the legal community (e.g., lawyers, legal professionals, and law students). We train and equip instructors with everything they need to lead participants through a series of practical law lessons. These lessons are designed to boost participant knowledge and build key life skills, like conflict resolution, decision-making, communication, analytical thinking, and advocacy.

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International Programs

A just, fair society cannot be achieved without democracy and rule of law. In new democracies and nations in transition to democracy, many people lack the basic legal knowledge, civic engagement skills, and confidence needed to solve individual and community problems and participate effectively in civic life.

We collaborate with law schools, civil society organizations, and government agencies around the globe to build sustainable, culturally-sensitive Street Law programs. Our work abroad strengthens civil society by bringing education about democracy and rule of law to young people and marginalized populations.

Street Law's global programs take a grassroots approach to change, empowering program participants with essential civic skills and knowledge, creating an expectation of enhanced rule of law and greater access to justice. These programs emphasize equipping people with the knowledge and skills they need to:

  • access their legal systems and receive fair treatment from the law
  • participate in democracy and use their democratic rights responsibly and effectively
  • become active supporters of democracy and rule of law and contribute to the creation of a more just, democratic, and prosperous society over the course of their lives

Since 1986, Street Law has implemented a range of global projects throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Checkout our Program Locations map to learn more about our diverse historical portfolio of global work.

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textbooks and a tablet with the Street Law logo

Curricula & Teaching Materials

Teaching materials are a critical tool toward achieving our mission. We arm educators with the textbooks, lesson plans, and teaching activities they need to be effective educators of law, government, democracy, and rule of law.

Street Law's teaching materials focus on topics that are relevant to students' lives and designed to be delivered via interactive, learner-centered teaching strategies. They help educators increase students' knowledge and help students develop the skills they need to be civically engaged.

In addition to the programs listed below, we encourage you to explore our online store and free resource library for hundreds of additional resources, including Supreme Court case summaries, lesson plans, and mock trials. You will also find information on texts developed with our publishing partner—McGraw-Hill Education—including Street Law: A Course in Practical Law and United States Government: Our Democracy. And don't forget to check out the resource-rich for teaching materials on 17 landmark Supreme Court cases.

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