Hartford high school students came to UConn School of Law on April 27, 2017, to present their final arguments in a moot court case about a cell phone search and a student’s rap song.
Arguments in the hypothetical case, involving the Fourth and First Amendments, were the culmination of a program offered through the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a national legal education program founded in 1999 at the American University Washington College of Law. Four law students taught constitutional law and oral advocacy to about 25 students at two Hartford high schools, with the moot court capping the rigorous semester-long program.
The law students worked with the high school students throughout the semester, teaching them about the constitutional amendments, presenting cases to them, showing them how to research rules and holdings and then helping them create and present their arguments.
This year Caitlin Rauchle ‘17 and Gavin Tisdale ’17 taught students at and the Law and Government Academy at Hartford Public High School. Patricia Murphy ’17 and Ashley Daley ’18 taught at Bulkeley High School. They worked under the supervision of Justin Taylor, who is an adjunct professor at UConn School of Law and a teacher at Bulkeley.
“The course builds students' academic skills by creating multiple opportunities for students to close reading difficult texts, synthesize and apply their understanding of the law to new facts, and engage in critical thinking,” Taylor said.
UConn Law Professors Jessica Rubin, Peter Siegelman and Douglas Spencer served as judges in the moot court.
"The Marshall Brennan Program enabled us, as law students, to share the most interesting and practical aspects of our studies with high school students in Hartford,” Murphy said. “We are so proud and fulfilled to have been a part of it."