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

In both developing and mature democracies, many people lack the basic legal knowledge, civic engagement skills, and confidence needed to effectively participate in civic life. To build and maintain a strong democratic society, countries and communities must invest in the citizens who will uphold and safeguard the norms, ideals, and values of democracy. 

Often, it is these everyday citizens that are the most important and yet least served constituency for the development of a healthy democratic society. To bridge this gap, Street Law collaborates with law schools, NGOs, and government agencies around the globe to build public legal education programs, train educators, and develop teaching materials. Our international programs take a grassroots approach to change, empowering program participants with essential civic skills and knowledge, building their practical ability to advocate for themselves and others, and enhancing the rule of law. 

Street Law’s international programs are based around three core values:

  1. Methodology matters: Our programs and curricula utilize interactive, participatory, and learner-centered teaching methods. For nearly 50 years, we have seen that when youth are empowered to deeply engage in their own learning, they rise to the occasion. The active approach ensures that learners develop not only their civic and legal knowledge but also their engagement skills and confidence.
  2. Active participation of young people: Through work with educators, community organizations, and governments, we help design programs and resources that equip youth to be active citizens. Our skills-building approach to youth development empowers young people to find positive outlets for their energies, solve personal and societal problems, and make their communities stronger.
  3. Sustainability and lasting impact: We partner with local individuals and organizations and give them the practical tools they need to independently sustain their programs. We are proud of the fact that Street Law programs—developed with our input and resources but run independently—continue to thrive in countries and communities around the world

Since 1986, Street Law has implemented a range of projects in more than 40 countries throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Check out our program map to learn more about our diverse historical portfolio of work outside of the U.S.

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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 equip 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 www.LandmarkCases.org for teaching materials on 17 landmark Supreme Court cases.

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