MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S "LEGAL LIVES" PROGRAM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2012
9:30 A.M.- 12:00 P.M.
Innovative Program Introduces Elementary Students to Criminal Justice System
Atlanta- “Project Legal Lives,” Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr.’s innovative educational program that introduces the criminal justice system into City of Atlanta and Fulton County elementary schools, culminates in a sure-to-be dramatic mock-trial competition Wednesday, May 9, 2012 beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Fulton County Courthouse. Students assume the roles of prosecutors, defense attorneys, defendants, witnesses, victims, and jurors in the competition that simulates the trial of an armed-robbery case. District Attorney staff-members judge the competition and award trophies for the best overall performance and a variety of other achievements. The competition will run until approximately noon. On May 31, 2012, a group of students representing each participating “Legal Lives” school will travel to Washington, D.C., for four days to tour the heart of the nation’s criminal justice system.
“Legal Lives”—a 10-week course that teaches children about the law, the legal system, and the fundamental principles and values upon which this system is based—seeks to instill in students a basic respect for the law through the development of critical and analytical skills. “Legal Lives” also provides role models for students by placing assistant district attorneys in the classroom to teach the course, one of the most appealing aspects of the program for many educators.
“Legal Lives” was created in 1990 by the Brooklyn (Kings County) District Attorney’s Office in New York City. A version of this program was first implemented in 1993 by then-Solicitor General Paul L. Howard, Jr. at Atlanta’s Dean Rusk Elementary School and has now grown to ten schools in Atlanta and Fulton County (Cleveland Avenue, Cliftondale, D.H. Stanton, F.L. Stanton, Parkside, Peyton Forest, Seaborn Lee, Shakerag, State Bridge Crossing, and Stonewall Tell elementary schools) under Mr. Howard’s administration as District Attorney. Nationally, “Legal Lives” is replicated by District Attorneys’ offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Indianapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, and several other cities.
*Media interested in covering the event may access the courthouse through 185 Central Avenue for security clearance. A signed Rule 22 is attached. Program and courtroom assignments to follow.
Media Contact: Yvette Brown, 404-224-0560/404-392-8867, firstname.lastname@example.org