upcoming events

High School Mock Trial

  • Registration Deadline, Oct. 8
  • Case Released, Oct. 29, 5 p.m.
  • Registration Deadline with Penalty, Nov. 5

Middle School Mock Trial

  • Registration Deadline with Penalty, Sept. 30
  • Regional Competitions, Nov. 13
  • State Competition, Dec. 4

Mock Trial (Middle and High School)

  • Training, July 27
  • Training, Sept. 14

Project Citizen

  • Training, Sept. 24-25
  • Training, Sept. 25
  • Training, Oct. 14-15
  • Training, Dec. 10

We the People

  • Training (Elem – HS), Oct. 7-8
  • State Competition Questions Released, Sept. 1
  • Training (Elem. - HS), Dec. 9

For more upcoming events, click here to visit our calendar

Cynthia H. Cothran
LRE Director
Oversees all programs

Marian Kirk
LRE Program Coordinator
Supports all programs and competitions

Donald Lanier
LRE Coordinator
Supports Community Works, Street Law, Foundations of Democracy, School Resource Officer Trainings, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Youth Court

LRE Welcome | LRE National News | LRE State News | Teacher's Corner | LRE Programs | Community Works | Elementary Mock Trial | Foundations of Democracy | High School Mock Trial | LawForKids.org | Middle School Mock Trial | Project Citizen | Street Law | We the People | Youth Court

lre news

Welcome to the eighth edition of LRE News! We hope this newsletter continues to be a useful tool to you. It was created to provide information on LRE news, programs and events for those involved with LRE programs. Suggestions and feedback are always welcome.

LRE is a “one-stop” shop for teachers, SROs, pre-service teachers and attorneys. Professional development trainings are provided throughout the year on programs such as:

  • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution;
  • We the People: Project Citizen;
  • Community Works;
  • Street Law;
  • Mock Trial;
  • Foundations of Democracy;
  • LawForKids.org; and
  • Law for Teachers.

Celebrate Constitution Day – September 17th

  • Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education declared that any educational institution receiving federal funds must offer lessons on the U.S. Constitution every year for Constitution Day? 
  • Do you have plans for Constitution Day this year?
  • Looking for fun curriculum, lesson plans and games to use in the classroom?

In celebration of our country's Constitution, the U.S. Department of Education has designated September 17 as annual Constitution Day! The day is intended to prompt any federally funded educational institution to conduct an event of its own design that celebrates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Events or programming can be designed as educators see fit to best emphasize this momentous event with their students. Need a free Constitution Day Pocket Book or a Constitution Day tool kit?  Look no further: www.constitutionday.cc

Through participation in Constitution Day, students will increase their basic skills of listening, speaking, writing, reading, problem analysis and many more attributes to include citizenship and awareness of their Constitution applicable to their daily lives. Read the Federal Register establishing Constitution Day at www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2005-2/052405b.html.

Constitution Day Resources include:

2011 Law Day Theme Announced
The 2011 Law Day theme has been selected. Be sure to visit www.lawday.org in the coming months for more details on the theme, as well as downloadable artwork, lesson plans, resources, the Dialogue and more. The 2011 theme is: The Legacy of John Adams, From Boston to Guantanamo. This theme provides us with an opportunity to assess and celebrate the legacy of John Adams, explore the historical and contemporary role of lawyers in defending the rights of the accused, and renew our understanding of and appreciation for the fundamental principle of the rule of law.

Check back often in the coming weeks for updates and resources for Law Day 2011, including the Law Day Planning Guide and Resource Catalog!

Mix It Up Grants
The Southern Poverty Law Center is accepting applications for its Mix It Up grants program to support ongoing projects led and directed by youth (ages 13 and older) that challenge the status quo, are creative in their approach to encouraging engagement in socially just behaviors, involve collaborations across social boundaries, and are fiscally responsible. Maximum award: $500. Ages served: middle and high school. They have a rolling deadline. For more information, visit www.tolerance.org

Do Something Seed Grants
Do Something is offering weekly grants of $500 to assist projects addressing different causes around the world. Do Something Seed Grants are targeted toward project ideas and programs that are just getting started. These grants are available to individuals ages 25 or under who are working to start a community action project or program. They have a rolling deadline. Learn more at: www.dosomething.org/grants/seedgrants

60-Second Civics
The Center for Civic Education is pleased to provide 60-Second Civics, a daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the U.S. Constitution and American history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the Constitutional issues behind the headlines, and the people and ideas that formed our nation’s history and government. To subscribe, visit http://civiced.org/rss/podcast_60second.xml.


Project Citizen National Showcase Results
Puppy mills, healthy school lunches and texting while driving were among the topics tackled by classes participating in the 2010 Project Citizen National Showcase. Cosponsored by the Center for Civic Education and the National Conference of State Legislatures, the showcase featured portfolios created by students addressing public policy issues in their schools and local communities. State legislators attending NCSL's Legislative Summit evaluated the portfolios, and the achievement levels were announced on July 28. 

Congratulations are in order for York One Academy’s proposal, “Texting by Hand Can Wreck Your Life.” Students from York One Academy received a Superior Level ranking, the highest level that can be obtained in the national competition. This was York One Academy’s third time receiving this honor. In addition, the students’ portfolio was chosen for display at the annual Project Citizen Coordinators’ Conference this October. LRE is especially proud of the students and teachers at York One Academy.

Project Citizen encourages students to research a public policy they believe should be revised or created. By doing so, students learn what it means to be effective citizens and are inspired to make changes in their communities. Project Citizen can be taught in upper elementary through 12th grade as well as with community groups and after school programs. Free trainings on Project Citizen are provided for teachers throughout the year. Contact lre@scbar.org for additional information and training dates.

Competition Dates for 2010/11
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution

  • Middle School - Columbia....... Jan. 2011
  • High School - Columbia....... Jan. 2011

We the People: Project Citizen

  • In-School Competitions....... Scheduled Individually Anytime Prior to 4/4/11
  • State Showcase - Columbia....... Apr. 14, 2011

Middle School Mock Trial

  • Regionals (Charleston, Columbia, Conway & Greenville)....... Nov. 13, 2010
  • State (Columbia)....... Dec. 4, 2010

High School Mock Trial

  • Regionals (Charleston, Columbia, Conway & Greenville)....... Feb. 26, 2011
  • State (Columbia)....... Mar. 11-12, 2011
  • Nationals (Phoenix, AZ)....... May 5-8, 2011

The spotlight has stopped on…

rhodesKaty Bates
Berkeley High School
Berkeley School District
Moncks Corner, SC

Although she is a fairly new teacher at Berkeley High School, Katy Bates is not new to LRE. Bates grew up in Moncks Corner and graduated from Berkeley High School in 2004. She earned a bachelor of arts in History with a minor in Political Science from Columbia College in 2008. She earned a M.A.T. in Secondary Education-Social Studies from Citadel Graduate College. She is very proud of having 10 years of experience with LRE’s Mock Trial program—four years on the mock trial team, two years volunteering with the Mock Trial program working alongside S.C. Bar staff, assisted as a mock trial coach for three years and has one year of actual coaching the Berkeley High School Mock Trial team. In addition to coaching a Mock Trial team, Bates teaches psychology and Youth Court.

Bates stated that being part of the mock trial team in high school was an amazing experience. In her sophomore year, her team won the 2002 State High School Mock Trial championship and advanced to the national competition in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her team was able to meet other students and establish bonds with people that have lasted a lifetime. Mock trial allowed her to increase her confidence in public speaking and the ability to think and respond quickly under pressure. Her teammates truly became a “family” and have continued to support one other even to this day.

Bates said, “Mock Trial is not for those that just want to become lawyers, but it is a building block for preparing students in whatever field they choose. The Mock Trial program is unique in that the kids are able to combine what they learn from the classroom—law education, legal terminology, public speaking—with a competition, and a flair of drama. It requires different kinds of abilities to make a team successful. As a teacher coach, I have seen how this program has turned average kids into extraordinary kids. They not only become more extraverted with their teammates, but within their school and other activities that they are a part of. This program brings out the best in its participants, and I feel very lucky to have been able to be a part of this program.”

The LRE Division is proud of Bates' accomplishments and her contributions to making a difference in the lives of others. As an alumnus of the Mock Trial program, Bates continues to share her knowledge and passion for the program with the citizens of Berkeley County. Her passion and excitement for Mock Trial is truly infectious.


sro corner (click here to learn more)

Description: Looking for a curriculum that teaches communication and problem solving skills? Community Works is a program targeting middle and high school students that can be implemented in the classroom, after school or in most any other setting. It provides students with a practical understanding of crime and crime prevention that is useful in their everyday lives. It can function as a stand-alone program, or it can be incorporated into a classroom curriculum. The curriculum includes 31 highly interactive session, involves community resource people and includes a service learning/action project component, if desired. This curriculum not only teaches teens to be resources for each other, but to interact positively with community members.

What's New: A two-day training is scheduled for February 2011. Click here to learn more.

emt (click here to learn more)


Description: Elementary Mock Trial is an excellent way to begin to introduce the concepts of justice and the judiciary through fairy tale trials. We all know the stories of Goldilocks, Paul Bunyan, The Three Little Pigs and others. Through materials from the American Bar Association supplied to elementary teachers by the South Carolina Bar LRE Division, upper elementary students can learn about the courts in an interactive fashion. For the majority of the trials, there are even puppets available for checkout from the S.C. Bar LRE Division.

What’s New: The LRE Division has added many new puppets and cases to choose from when implementing Elementary Mock Trial. The Division will also come to schools that implement the program to videotape the students presenting the mock trial cases. For more information about the program, to review cases and choose puppets, click here.

fod (click here to learn more)

Description: Foundations of Democracy is a character education curriculum created by the Center for Civic Education. The curriculum is available for grades K-12 and addresses authority, responsibility, privacy and justice. The Center for Civic Education's mission is "to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry, committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries."  Students in South Carolina can benefit from this mission by becoming enlightened and active, responsible citizens while impacting the state through the implementation of this program. Through participation in this program, students will increase their basic skills of listening, speaking, writing, reading, problem analysis and awareness of the Constitution and how it is applicable to their daily lives.

What’s New: A two-day training is planned for Spring 2011. Click here for dates and registration information.

high school mock trial (click here to learn more)

Description: The High School Mock Trial Program is a hands-on exercise in learning about due process. It is most often conducted as an extracurricular activity but can also be incorporated into law, forensics or public speaking classes.

What’s New: Don’t let this year slip by without registering for High School Mock Trial. Complete and return the mock trial registration form for each team registering. With each registration, enclose a check for the nonrefundable $100 registration fee. (Checks should be made payable to S.C. Bar Law Related Education Division). All fees go toward competition expenses. (Don’t let payment prevent your team from registering on time. Feel free to fax the application with a copy of the purchase order request showing payment is coming at a later date.) There is a limit of two teams per high school. All registrations without penalty fees are to be received by October 8, 2010.

Click here for dates and registration information.  

A FREE training on will be offered September 14 for teachers interested in implementing this program. If you cannot attend the training scheduled for September 14, contact Cynthia H. Cothran at ccothran@scbar.org to learn more about the Mock Trial program and competition.

(click here to learn more)

Do your students have questions? Do they need answers? Don’t let the students go through life without knowing about this fabulous online program for kids. LawForKids.org is a Web site dedicated to teaching children about the law. It was created with the specific goal of educating South Carolina’s youth, parents, communities and schools about the law and to encourage lawful behavior. The site includes an interactive forum through which students may anonymously ask questions about the law and receive correct, factual information from volunteer attorneys.

Access to the Web site is free and adapted for South Carolina youth. There are quizzes, interactive games, cartoons, comics, law documents, links to other law related education Web sites and a searchable database on South Carolina law and how it affects young people. Students will find the Web site helpful for research projects and homework assignments, but can also use the site to play games and hear first-hand from their peers about law related incidents and how to best handle various situations.

To access the Web site, visit www.LawForKids.org. Click “other states” in the top right corner of the home page, and then select South Carolina on the U.S. map. Users will then have the option of making the South Carolina site their permanent home page.

middle school mock trial (click here to learn more)

Description: The Middle School Mock Trial Program is a hands-on exercise in learning about due process. It is a team activity program that is most often conducted as an extracurricular activity, but can also be incorporated into law, forensics or public speaking classes.

What’s New: If you thought that mock trial was only for high school, then you thought wrong! A FREE mock trial training is available to any school interested in implementing Middle School Mock Trial on September 14. If you cannot attend the training scheduled for September 14, contact Cynthia H. Cothran at ccothran@scbar.org to learn more about the Mock Trial program and competition. The current 2010 case is available for FREE by clicking on the Middle School Mock Trial logo on the LRE website at www.scbar.org/lre.

Regional competitions are scheduled for Saturday, November 13, 2010, in Charleston, Columbia, Conway and Greenville. The culminating state competition is scheduled in Lexington on December 4, 2010. The registration deadline to enter the competition is September 30, 2010. Click here for registration information.  

“It (mock trial) is absolutely one of the best things offered at the middle and high school level. My students who have participated over the years have gone on and done amazing things, and I know it is a direct result of the confidence and knowledge that was built from their participation in the Mock Trial Program!” —Brenda Kidd, North Myrtle Beach Middle School

project citizen (click here to learn more)

Description: We the People: Project Citizen is a curricular program for elementary, middle and high school students as well as youth groups that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. The program helps young people learn how to monitor and influence public policy (a school rule or state law). In the process, they develop support for democratic values and principles, tolerance and feelings of political efficacy.

What’s New: The 2011 Showcase of all complete Project Citizen entries is scheduled for April 14, 2011. In-school presentation dates can be scheduled any time during the school year leading up to the state showcase that involves portfolio entries only (not students). Judging of in-school presentations can be arranged with Cynthia H. Cothran at (803) 252-5139 or ccothran@scbar.org.

For those already implementing Project Citizen in their classroom, the Center for Civic Education recently unveiled a new portion of its website that features a Project Citizen portfolio and documentation binder that can be navigated from a computer. For example, if there is a two-page narrative on the “Problem” board, students can zoom in and read the narrative. This fabulous new resource can be found at www.civiced.org/digitalPortfolio.

Grant Opportunities for Project Citizen Students: DoSomething.org aims to inspire, support and celebrate youth taking action, so they offer a variety of grants, ranging from $500 to $1000, to young people seeking to make a positive impact in their community. Complete details can be found at www.dosomething.org/grants.

If your students have worn out their Project Citizen books and you need a replacement set, e-mail Cynthia Cothran at ccothran@scbar.orgto get a new FREE classroom set of 30 textbooks, as well as a teacher’s guide.

Interested in starting this program at your school? Click here to learn more.

sro corner (click here to learn more)

Description: Street Law is a course in practical law. It was designed to provide students with knowledge of what to do when confronted with a legal problem. Information is presented through student-centered activities that enable teens to develop as effective citizens.  Most often, Street Law, is taught as a one-semester social studies elective or in place of a government course. The curriculum can also be used by teachers of a practical business law class. The curriculum is correlated to the state standards and is on the SC textbook adopted list.  The curriculum includes a teacher's manual as well as test banks.

What’s New: Two trainings will be held in Spring 2011. Click here to learn more.

we the people (click here to learn more)

Description: We the People is an in-depth study of American history with an emphasis on understanding the formation of the Constitution and its interpretation throughout history. Students compete in a mock congressional hearing and discuss critical issues regarding American government, the founding fathers and current events based on a constitutional perspective.

What’s New: The 2010-11 school year is starting, and with it the beginning of a new We the People season! The new Middle School State Competition will be held on Thursday January 6, 2011, with the High School State Competition on Friday, January 7, 2011. Click here to for more information and to register.

For teachers interested in the program, but not ready to compete just yet, a Teacher Scholar program is available that allows teachers to attend the competition and observe the students in action. Competition questions for 2010-11 are expected to be released on September 1, 2010, and can be found here.

“Great workshop! I can’t wait to use this program in my classroom.” —Teacher Participant

“Thanks for putting together such a great competition … we enjoyed ourselves very much.” —JJ Iagulli, Carolina Forest High School

youth court (click here to learn more)

Description: Do you know what one of the fastest growing youth diversion programs in the nation is? The answer is Youth Court. There are 35 separate youth courts serving many different communities and schools throughout South Carolina. In communities, Youth Court is a juvenile diversion option intended to keep young people with no criminal record out of the juvenile justice system, allowing them a second chance to maintain their clean juvenile records. In schools, Youth Court can handle actual criminal offenses in which the school resource officer is involved, or it can be inserted into the discipline code to handle violations of school rules. Youth Court functions like a traditional court with all the key roles in place. The difference is that all of those roles are played by youth.

What’s New: With the reinvigoration of the South Carolina Youth Court Association, the S.C. Bar now serves as a clearinghouse for information and a resource for reaching the S.C. Youth Court Association. For a list of Youth Court publications held by the S.C. Bar, please e-mail Donald Lanier at dlanier@scbar.org.

Click here to learn more.

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge
is the only guardian of true liberty.”
—James Madison

bar foundation LRE programs are made possible with the support of the South Carolina Bar Foundation's IOLTA grant and two program grants through the Center for Civic Education. civic ed


South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division
950 Taylor Street • P.O. Box 608 • Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: (803) 252-5139 Fax: (803) 771-0419 E-mail: lre@scbar.org