Tools for Students & Teachers
For more information on the court's educational outreach programs, please contact:
Chief Deputy Clerk Lori Landis
- The Judicial Institute for High School Teachers is an annual 3 day workshop where teachers get an opportunity to discuss constitutional issues with federal judges, observe courtroom proceedings, and gain a better understanding of the role of the judiciary in our country’s government. Now accepting applications (PDF) (Word) for the Summer 2015 program.
- The iCivics Institute for Junior High and Middle School Teachers is a 3 day workshop which is based on the iCivics program initiated by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. This program includes courtroom visits, sessions with judges and legal professionals, and interaction with fellow educators. Now accepting applications (PDF) (Word) for the Summer 2015 program.
- Constitution Day is observed nationally on September 17 every year. Courthouse celebrations are scheduled on or near this date in both Tacoma and Seattle, and the court invites several 5th grade classes to participate. Here are some pictures of a recent event.
- Mock Trials are held in the courthouse by local students throughout the year.
- Courthouse tours which include an overview of the history of the buildings, architecture, and artwork, are available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Tools and Resources
The US Courts website contains an abundance of educational resources from basic court information about courts to social media and student speech rights. The 9th Circuit Courts & Community Committee site has pictures and resports from educational programs across the western United States.
Mock Trial Script
Designed to be completed in one 50 minute class period, this mock trial is appropriate for grades 6-12. This is an interesting case which challenges students to focus on objective information.
iCivics is a web site providing games, information and teaching materials designed to increase students' civic knowledge and participation. It was created by former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Conner after her retirement from the court.
Inside the Federal Courts
The Federal Judicial Center has created this overview of how federal courts are organized and the internal processes that take place every day.
Legal jargon can be tough to decipher. Check out the US Courts' thorough Glossary of Legal Terms for help.