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From Courtroom to Classroom

Alexander Hamilton statue outside of CourthouseFor many years, the Eighth District Court of Appeals has traveled to nearby law schools to bring awareness of the appellate process to law students and members of the community. Please visit our gallery of photographs to see the court’s most recent visits.

Starting in 2019, the Eighth District Court of Appeals is expanding its education outreach program to include high schools located in Cuyahoga County.

Overview of the Program:

The goal of this program is to bring the appellate court to the students, providing them with the opportunity to see the appellate process in real time. The court will select real cases that it deems appropriate and interesting to hear oral argument at the high school. The students will be able to watch attorneys advocate on behalf of their client before a panel of three appellate judges, accompanied by the court’s bailiff. The judges will conduct court, ask the attorneys questions, and later issue a written decision deciding the appeal, which the students can access and read from the court’s docket.

Benefits of the Program:

Aside from increasing students’ awareness on how the judicial system works, the program strives to teach students the importance of the rule of law in their own lives. Students will see firsthand how law governs our democracy and the importance of the judiciary in interpreting these laws. They will also hear a general overview of the appellate process and learn about the roles and responsibilities of both the judges and attorneys. Following the oral arguments, students will be able to interact with the judges and attorneys during a 30-minute question and answer period.

The court expects that the students will thoroughly enjoy this experience and walk away with a much better understanding of the legal process. Feedback from students that have visited the court in the past has been positive, expressing their appreciation and even inspiration toward the legal profession. With this program, we are excited to share this experience with more students who otherwise may not have the opportunity.

Requirements for Eligibility to Participate:

To host the oral arguments, the high school will be required to provide the following:

  • At least a two-hour block of time in the morning;
  • The presence of at least one security officer on the premises; and
  • An enthusiastic student body of at least 50 students in attendance.

Next Steps if Interested:

If interested in hosting the Eighth District Court of Appeals and providing your students this incredible opportunity, please reach out to Erin O’Toole, Court Administrator, at (216) 443-6350 to learn more and discuss future arrangements.