2016 Law Week
in the Elementary Schools
In celebration of national "Law Week," twelve of our members assisted practicing attorneys from the Sarasota County Bar Association in introducing Sarasota County 5th graders to our legal system and its underlying principles in late April and early May 2016.
The focus was on Miranda Rights. In each classroom, the two attorneys or judges (one practicing, one retired) made short presentations and took questions from the ten and eleven year olds, then moderated a short mock-trial skit: a student had been arrested for the theft of a computer, ostensibly to sell it and use the proceeds to pay for a school trip to Washington, DC. The Miranda focus: "Was the student afforded her right to remain silent?" Was she guilty?
Our twelve volunteers reported that the skit provoked very lively debate as the students wrestled with the broader legal principles hiding just below the surface. Our members were amazed by the many excellent questions raised by the young students and agreed that the entire exercise had been a wonderful, eye-opening experience which they hope will be continued annually.
ARAS member Barbara Katz and local practicing attorney Kevin Griffith
in a fifth-grade class at Alta Vista Elementary School.
"We told them about our work, Kevin as an attorney with a private law firm working primarily on criminal defense, and Barbara as an enforcement attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, investigating 'people who had done bad things' in the stock market."