What Is Street Law?
Street Law is a practical and participatory educational program that teaches about law, democracy, and human rights. A unique blend of content and methodology, Street Law uses techniques that promote cooperative learning, critical thinking, and the ability to participate in a democratic society. Street Law programs and curricula promote knowledge of legal rights and responsibilities, engagement in the democratic process, and belief in the rule of law, among both youth and adults.
Street Law began in 1972 as a practical law curriculum designed as part of a clinical project by a group of Georgetown University law students. Washington, DC public high school students who took the course and the law students who taught it were extremely enthusiastic. With this encouragement, the law school/high school partnership model was expanded to all District of Columbia high schools, where it continues today as the D.C. Street Law Clinic.
Street Law at Rutgers School of Law–Newark
Two first-year law students with an interest in working with young people and a desire to use their legal knowledge in a classroom setting founded Street Law at Rutgers School of Law–Newark in the spring of 2006. Asaf Orr ’08 and Emily Rodriguez ’08 sought to bring proficiency in practical law to youth and adults and to empower them to use the law and become more active citizens. To this end, Street Law partners with community organizations and local schools to add a law-related component to their programs. Street Law is the recipient of a 2009 Chancellor’s Community Engagement Award for its “exemplary leadership in connecting the campus with the community.”
Street Law is co-sponsored by the law school and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and made possible with funding from the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey. The program recently received $3,000 from the Investors Savings Bank Foundation to help it expand mentoring efforts to youths in the Newark school system. In announcing the grant, Kevin Cummings, president and CEO of Investor Savings Bank and a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees, said: “We're proud to lend our support to Street Law, which is creating outstanding educational opportunities for both students and citizens in the city of Newark.”
Goals of Street Law
- To provide opportunities for Newark’s inner-city community to learn about their legal rights and responsibilities, the basic workings of government, and legal issues that pervade daily life.
- To provide opportunities for communities to develop skills, such as analytical, critical thinking, advocacy, negotiation and persuasion, that are essential in utilizing the law to be effective within legal systems.
- To provide opportunities for law students to improve their presentation and research skills, to participate in a pro bono program, and to learn from the communities they will be teaching.
- To establish connections between the law school and the Newark community.
Street Law Program Initiatives
To meet the goals of the Street Law Program, we offer the following programs:
Alycia M. Guichard is Director and New Jersey Bar Fellow for the Street Law Program.
The program is co-sponsored by the law school and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and made possible with funding from the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey.
Both the program and Guichard are widely recognized for their contributions to public service and for demonstrating how law students can give back to their host communities. Because of her accomplishments, Guichard was invited to deliver the closing remarks at the 2011 awards dinner for the national Street Law organization.
For more information about Street Law, contact us at 973-353-3160 or email@example.com