The Institute, now in its 20th year, provides a unique opportunity for Florida teachers to experience the state courts and the administration of justice using a case study approach. Teachers begin the institute on opening night by participating in a simulated Supreme Court oral argument activity serving as attorneys and Justices. Later, they explored the Florida Constitution through a scavenger hunt activity and quiz show, learned about the differences between state and federal courts, and examined the selection processes for trial and appellate court judges.
Teachers also observed a mock motion to suppress hearing in the circuit courts as well as a real oral argument in the Supreme Court. They explored the jurisdiction of the various levels of the courts and the role of the courts in interpreting and applying the law. Throughout the institute, teachers were divided into groups and assigned roles as part of a culminating appellate exercise. Upon graduation from the institute, all teachers received certificates signed by the Justices and were designated as Justice Teaching Institute Fellows.
The institute is funded in part by the Florida Bar Foundation and has received the highest evaluations for its practical, substantive, and engaging sessions. Staff from the Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc. assisted with implementation and faculty assistance throughout the institute.
For additional information about the program and this year’s teacher participants, contact Annette Boyd Pitts at firstname.lastname@example.org.