West Virginia Judiciary

LAWS Program

The Commitment

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is committed to LAWS (Legal Advancement for West Virginia Students). The five justices believe educating young West Virginians about the judicial branch of government will help produce future generations of well-informed, patriotic citizens.

LAWS is a partnership between the court system, bar, schools, and community, all working toward one goal -- educating students.

The Program

Teachers whose classes are participating in LAWS attend an in-service training session conducted in their area several months in advance of the Supreme Court’s visit to the chosen LAWS community. The Supreme Court provides information about the state and federal court systems, suggested exercises for students, and summaries of the cases the students will hear in a manual for teachers. Supreme Court staff and local judges conduct the in-service. Teachers are encouraged to include the materials in their curricula.

Volunteer judges and lawyers go into the classrooms of LAWS students to review their case and discuss the judicial branch of government. Students receive handbooks to use as they study the court system and the case they will hear. The volunteers coordinate their classroom visits with teachers.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals meets in the LAWS community. Students from participating schools are divided into groups and hear oral argument in one case, followed by a "debriefing" with the attorneys who argued the case.