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Tools for Students & Teachers

For more information on the court's educational outreach programs, please contact:

Chief Deputy Clerk Eric Smits
(206) 370-8483

Court Programs

  • The Judicial Institute for Teachers is a 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. The next program will be held July 9-11, 2024. Applications are now available.
  • Constitution Day is observed nationally on September 17 every year.  Since this is so close to the start of the school year, courthouse celebrations and classroom visits for 5th grade classes are scheduled later in the year. 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 for Seattle tours or for the Tacoma courthouse.


Other Tools and Resources

Educational 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 (PDF)
Designed to be completed in one 50 minute class period, this mock trial is appropriate for grades 5-12. 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.  

Law Day Module (Word document)
Designed to be completed in one 50 minute distance learning class, this Law Day agenda is for teachers, homeschoolers, parents, and other adults who work with high school students. The federal courts’ Law Day resources are designed for the distance learning space to engage students in thoughtful discussion on the fundamentals of a society based on the rule of law.

Legal Terms
Legal jargon can be tough to decipher. Check out the US Courts' thorough Glossary of Legal Terms for help.