Students enrolled in the Street Law Clinic teach legal life skills to high school students in our Los Angeles community.
Law students step into the roles of teacher, mentor, and advocate to empower at-risk youth to make better choices, overcome adversity, and build stronger futures. The participatory lessons taught by the clinic law students inform the teenagers about their rights and the laws that apply to them, and provide legal information and resources they need to successfully transition to independent living and adulthood.
In the clinic classroom component, teaching skills are practiced and our lessons are reviewed to help the law students prepare their own lesson plans. During the classroom meetings there are court field trips to provide an opportunity for law students to observe hearings and speak with judges and attorneys to gain an understanding of the court systems that many of our students are involved or are at risk of entering. In addition, attorneys from public interest agencies are invited as guest speakers to answer questions in their areas of expertise that relate to youth and our curriculum.
The fieldwork requires the law students teach a weekly ninety-minute lesson using active-learning methodology at sites arranged by the clinic director. The law students are also required to meet with their students individually to ensure each has a plan as they leave high school. Based on this plan, the law students prepare a resource binder specific for each youth that targets their needs and interests, focusing on housing, employment and education.