Each year the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative partners each year with the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago and A.N. Pritzker Elementary School to run Lawyers in the Classroom.
The weeklong program brings law student, alumni and faculty volunteers to Pritzker to teach 6th, 7th and 8th graders a one-hour lesson on the U.S. Constitution and other legal principles.
One of the day's lessons, “No Electronics Allowed,” helped the middle school students discern the difference between the “spirit of the law” and the “black letter law.” After that, students worked through several hypotheticals to apply what they learned. For every lesson, the middle school students get the chance to learn a basic constitutional law concept and an opportunity to apply the concept to different fact scenarios.
The volunteer experience is a very fulfilling one for both the middle school and law school students. As Deirdre McGrory (JD '16) put it, “It was so fun to see the intelligent and very creative ways students would respond to the hypotheticals. I don’t know who had more fun – me or the students!”
DePaul will return to Pritzker during the spring semester to teach additional lessons and build on some of the legal principles discussed in classrooms this fall.