Legal Services is set up to help students become court reporters, hearing officers, judges, judicial law clerks, lawyers and paralegals. Through pathway coursework, work-based learning experiences and a Paralegal Studies certificate offering, students will be prepared to join the workforce upon graduation or to continue with post-secondary training in their chosen careers.
Law and Equity Pathway
District 214’s Law and Equity Pathway launched in 2017 to educate students about the operation of America’s legal system. Through the pathway, students interested in law or related legal professions—from police officers and FBI agents to crime scene investigators and forensic science technicians—learn the introductory skills they need for success.
For example, the Advanced Legal Concepts and Issues course exposes students to civil law, criminal law and the appeals process. The course is taught by District 214 teachers, two of whom hold Juris Doctor degrees. One semester of this full-year course offers dual credit through Eastern Illinois University. Most of the students who take this course are seniors, although the class is open to juniors as well.
As part of the pathway’s courses, teachers regularly host area experts, inviting judges, attorneys, police officers and others to talk with students about their day-to-day experiences. Students also are able to take real-world internships and, in many cases, work with practicing attorneys on Mock Trial teams. Mock Trial prepares students for simulated trials in competitions such as the Northwest Suburban Bar Association’s Annual Mock Trial Invitational.
To help prepare students, District 214 has converted classrooms at Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove, John Hersey and Wheeling high schools into simulated courtrooms to familiarize students with a courtroom setting while also giving them opportunities to practice trial law in a courtroom. The Elk Grove courtroom has been underwritten in part by a generous donor.
Work Based Learning Experiences in Law
Student interns have completed a variety of tasks in the Law field, including, but not limited to:
- Researching current case law
- Annotating affidavits and legal documents
- Observing a case in a courtroom, with an opportunity to ask questions afterwards