LegalWays: Sources of Law and the Courts

Lesson Duration

By Jennifer Bloom and Sally Revak, Learning Law and Democracy Foundation

From Unit 1 of LegalWays, a curriculum designed to teach a variety of legal topics of interest to young people. This lesson is the first of four lessons on the legal system and it provides a brief introductory reading on the court system with guiding questions. Lesson can be followed by lessons on Juvenile Court, right to an attorney, and Conciliation Court (small claims court).


Students will understand that there are different courts and that the courts handle different kinds of cases. (Lesson 1: Sources of Law and the Courts)

Students will know the basic functions and procedures of two courts that they might be involved in: juvenile court and conciliation court (Lesson 2: Juvenile Court and Lesson 4: Conciliation Court)

Students will know the importance of their right to an attorney and when the right is available to them. (Lesson 3: Your Right to an Attorney)

Grade Level

Grades 5-12

Time to Complete

One class period (Lesson 1)

Materials Needed


This curriculum was funded by Grant No. 95-JS-FX-0300 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. 1998. 2000. Revised 2011.


Types of especially helpful comments: How you modified this for your class, How you would improve this lesson.

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