Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers

This teacher professional development institute brings a select group of high school social studies teachers to Washington, DC, for an immersive six days of educational activities related to teaching about the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court Summer Institute is co-sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society.

The application period for the 2022 Institute will open in October 2021. 

Each spring we select 60 teachers from a pool of applicants to come to Washington for six days of educational activities that strengthen and expand instruction about the U.S. Supreme Court.

Teachers participate in sessions led by Supreme Court experts, journalists, and lawyers, as well as Street Law's Lee Arbetman and  Cathy Ruffing. The Institute covers six current (or recent cases) and prepares teachers to use innovative methods to teach about both current and historical cases. This exciting opportunity culminates with a visit to the Court to hear decisions handed down and a reception at the Court.

Since it began in 1995, the Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers has served more than 1,500 teachers. Collectively, our SCSI alumni reach over 150,000 students each year that they teach. The Institute is funded by and delivered in partnership with the Supreme Court Historical Society.

The application period for the 2022 Institute will open in October 2021. 


Please read this section closely before applying to confirm that you are eligible to attend and that you complete your application properly.

  • 30 teachers from across the country will be accepted for each Institute (60 total).
  • Admission is based on a competitive application process.
  • Applicants must:
    • teach secondary (grades 7-12) social studies or law-related education
    • commit to attend all sessions
    • not have already attended one of Street Law's Supreme Court Summer Institutes or regional Supreme Court Seminars
    • complete one of the following activities after the Institute in order to receive a $200 stipend:
      • conduct training for other teachers
      • write a journal article about the teaching methods or content covered at the Institute
      • participate in two cycles of sustained support with Street Law staff
  • We encourage educators of color, those who teach in urban or rural schools or on Native American reservations, those new to the teaching profession, and educators of diverse backgrounds (e.g., LGBTQ+ or disabled) to apply. In addition to the online application, applicants must submit to Street Law, Inc. a letter of support from your principal or supervisor. Letters of support should:
    • convey the supervisor's approval for attendance, 
    • highlight the applicant’s strengths and contributions to the school,
    • demonstrate a need for this type of training in your school and/or district, 
    • communicate support for completion of the stipend requirements.

The Institute is co-sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Supreme Court Historical Society logo

Participant Materials

The link below is for the participant materials distributed at the most recent Supreme Court Summer Institute. 

You may also visit Street Law's Free Resource Library for scores of Supreme Court case summaries, lesson plans, and more! 

Supreme Court Institute Alumni Facebook Group

Past participants are invited to join the SCSI Alumni Facebook Group. Share lesson plans, ask questions, and learn about other professional development opportunities. If you have any problems accessing the group, please contact Cathy Ruffing.

Can You Help Us Spread the Word?

We depend on past participants to publicize the Supreme Court Summer Institute. If you're presenting or attending a workshop and can hand out promotional materials, please contact Cathy Ruffing.


Cathy Ruffing

Senior Director, Teacher Professional Development Programs & Curriculum