John Jay School for Law engages young people in a high school curriculum to prepare students to be engaged citizens. Our curriculum includes opportunities for students to obtain Advanced Placement (AP) and college credits during high school, as well as opportunities to explore different aspects of law. Students are able to engage outside of the classroom to develop skills and global exposure to enhance their knowledge gained inside the classroom. Our vision of providing classes to introduce various aspects of law—criminal justice, international law, field experiences in law—aims to provide opportunities and prepare students for college and careers in the legal field.
High school is a critical time to expose young people to resources that will equip them to engage in society. The law curriculum was developed to provide introduction and exposure to a variety of law practices and potential career paths.
John Jay School for Law – Law Curriculum Overview
John Jay School for Law has developed a strategic and engaging law pathway for exposure to a variety of legal foundations to empower young people to be active and engaged citizens by building skills and knowledge to successfully navigate, participate, and create change in their communities. Students will participate in courses aimed at delving deeper into law that is practical and relevant in their lives—understanding the legal history, developing thinking and critical legal thought.
Each course will have a set curriculum and structure that will include mandatory units. The courses will draw on established partnerships with the American Bar Association’s high school curriculum, Street Law, Inc., and Justice Resource Center materials.
The courses will be flexible in nature to allow students to choose focus, interest, and legal cases to be explored. Each segment is structured to be integrated and interdisciplinary to apply skills from other content areas to law and vice versa. For example, students learning in World History about genocide in Rwanda will cover the International Criminal Court (ICC) related cases.
To draw on legal experts and global knowledge, each section will include guest speakers, related field experiences, and opportunities for case studies in the legal focus area.
A senior international trip will be planned to either U.N. Geneva Headquarters or the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Students will prepare for international travel by developing specific research on a case before the ICC and/or related international legal case before the UN Human Rights Council.
LAW Curriculum Outline and Options
GRADE FALL SEMESTER SPRING SEMESTER
9 Intro to Law I Introduction to Law provides a foundation to the principles of sound legal analysis. Intro to Law II In Intro to Law II, students choose legal areas of interest and develop case studies to practice using build sound legal analysis for final portfolio presentations.
10 Criminal Justice Criminal Justice focuses on the criminal justice system and its effects on students’ lives.
10 – 12 International Law I International Law I will cover the United Nations (UN) architecture. The second part of the class will focus on the Geneva Conventions and International Human Rights (IHR). International Law II International Law II will focus on two key areas: International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Refugee Law.
10 – 12 Moot Court Moot Court primarily focuses on teaching students public speaking skills and debate through the lens of real court proceedings. Career Technical Education (CTE) - Field experiences in law Once students completed Intro to Law I & II, they will be eligible to apply for field experiences in law.
10 - 12 Constitutional Law Constitutional Law addresses the fundamental basis of the American legal system: the United States Constitution. Career Technical Education (CTE) - Field experiences in law Once students completed Intro to Law I & II, they will be eligible to apply for field experiences in law.
12 Legal Research Legal Research focuses on developing knowledge of how to research case law. Topics In Law Students design a seminar course focusing on one legal concentration. Students will work with a mentor teacher to develop a portfolio project.
Moot Court, a competition for high school students to showcase their oral argument skills and critical thinking, is offered at John Jay School for Law. Moot Court dives into the U.S. Constitution and prepares students to make oral arguments and rebuttals in mock court trials against competing high schools. Once the Moot Court competition concludes, students engage in applying their knowledge of the law, Constitution, and areas of legal historical interest into creative projects (like podcasts, research, videos, etc.).