The Legal Studies Academy was created to provide students who have an interest in the law, law-related fields and legal and ethical issues the opportunity to extend their knowledge beyond the typical high-school program. The academy functions as a school-within-a-school to offer students the opportunity to embrace not only an academic curriculum that will prepare them for post-secondary education but also will allow them career exploration within the area of legal studies. The academy has two major strands: Law and The Administration of Justice.
The Law strand is designed to allow students to explore careers open to people such as lawyers, paralegals, court reporters, and judges. This strand is introduced during the first year through the Introduction to Law class. This course explores broad areas of the law in order to maximize students’ exposure to different areas and career options. The Administration of Justice strand introduces students to career possibilities such as police officer, criminal psychologist, forensic scientist or criminal investigator. Students will be introduced to this strand during their sophomore Introduction to Criminal Justice class.
The Academy curriculum goes beyond the basic four-year high school requirement by infusing law-related units into the core subject areas of English, science and social studies and by providing students with specialized course work. The course of studies is extended through seminars and field trips on law-related subjects.
In addition, the Academy offers students the opportunity to experience the reality of law careers by emphasizing active learning in criminal investigations, job shadowing and mock trials in our courtroom/classroom.
In order to promote active learning and the importance of community involvement, all Legal Studies Academy students are required to participate in job shadowing, internships and community service. This is wonderful training and preparation for our future community leaders.
During the senior year, students complete a senior project that is a hands-on experience focused on their chosen strand of study. The senior project will build upon skills gained through the internship experience.
All students must successfully complete and have documentation for job shadowing (8 hours) with an essay and community service (50 hours each year for a total of 200 hours).
For all strands, students receive instruction in the following:
§ Communication skills—emphasis on listening, reading, speaking, writing and thinking as they relate to law related fields;
§ Basic concepts of the rules and principles of criminal law and law enforcement, constitutional law and the criminal justice system;
§ Science and technology as they relate to criminal investigation and crime solving;
§ Computer science as it relates to law-related fields; and,
§ Character education and community service.