For more information or to join Outreach for Legal Literacy, contact the Executive Board at OLLExecBoard@gmail.com
Outreach for Legal Literacy (OLL) provides a valuable learning experience for both elementary students in Monroe County and law students at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. OLL offers law students a unique and rewarding opportunity to have a positive impact on the community while teaching elementary school students basic legal concepts. The goal of the program is to provide role models for local elementary school students while helping to develop the students’ self-confidence, critical thinking skills, and oral advocacy skills. OLL was founded in 1994 by Professor Aviva Orenstein.
Small groups of volunteer law students teach in classrooms throughout Monroe County. OLL volunteers teach approximately six lessons per semester. The teaching methods emphasize active learning. During the first semester, the lessons 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. During the second semester, OLL volunteers will help students prepare for a mock trial, the crowning event of the year. The mock trial offers the students an opportunity to apply the concepts they have learned throughout the year while acting as attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs, or jury members.
Additionally, OLL’s Kids Court program, in partnership with the Banneker at the View, utilizes role-playing through mini-mock trials to increase students’ knowledge of the legal system, including courtroom procedures and basic legal concepts. OLL’s Kids Court holds weekly hearings approximately six times per semester at Fairview Elementary. Elementary school students act as legal counsel and make oral arguments or conduct settlement negotiations while volunteer law students act as judges.