For more information or to join Outreach for Legal Literacy, contact:
Katie Feary, program coordinator (email@example.com)
Outreach for Legal Literacy (OLL) is a community service program in which law students teach law to fifth-graders in local elementary schools. Volunteers teach in small groups for about an hour a week for six or seven weeks. The goal of the program is to teach the students logic and verbal skills, and to provide them with positive role models. The program offers law students a unique and rewarding opportunity to have a positive impact on the community and the students involved.
Since Professor Aviva Orenstein started OLL in 1994, more than 100 law students have taught in Bloomington elementary schools.
The elementary school teacher chooses from the available lesson plans at the beginning of the school year. The teaching methods emphasize active learning, often beginning with a short skit to introduce the topic. During the first semester, the students focus on the U.S. Constitution and the role of law in our society. The first lesson plan is a basic introduction to law and the legal system. The second semester students prepare for a mock trial, the crowning event of the year. The fifth-graders come to the Law School’s Trial Court Room for the mock trial. This offers the students an opportunity to see what college looks like, tour the Law School, and speak to a law professor who will act as judge.