Central High School Signature Partnership
The Central High School Partnership, a UofL Signature Partnership, is an effort between Louisville’s Central High School and the Brandeis School of Law to promote diversity in the legal profession.
It began in fall 2001 with Central Law and Government Magnet Program students attending moot court competitions and speaker events at the Brandeis School of Law. Since then, more than 500 Central High school students have participated in the program.
Central students visit the law school and participate in writing competitions. Other enrichment activities aim to achieve sustained interest and to build students’ skills with an ultimate goal of setting them up for success in college and, perhaps, law school.
Law students receive public service credit by teaching legal issues and critical legal skills to magnet students. More than 150 Brandeis students have participated in the program since it began.
Follow-through programs allow the 25 to 30 Central students who graduate and attend college each year to remain in contact with the partnership to prepare for the law school application process.
The following are the primary curricular components of the partnership programs:
The Street Law curriculum was developed at Georgetown University Law Center in the 1970s and teaches legal issues and critical thinking skills. The curriculum has been adopted at many schools nationwide. Through the program, approximately 12-15 law students teach the curriculum to Central High Law Magnet sophomores. Law students receive public service hours for doing so.
Writing Skills & Mentorship Program
The Central High School Writing Mentor Program began in August 2008. The program provides a series of activities including writing skills and vocabulary development. About 10 law students and several members of the legal community under the direction of Mary Jo Gleason (former director of the law school’s public service program) attend classes approximately twice a month. There have also been speakers on topics such as professionalism and job interviews. Law students receive public service credit through this program.
Substantive American Government Coursework
Each year faculty members present sessions on topics such as immigration, search and seizure and housing discrimination. Law students are often involved in planning sessions. The classes are presented to the juniors in conjunction with their American Government textbook assignments.
Marshall-Brennan Civil Liberties Curriculum
American University Law School has developed a civil liberties curriculum used at several law schools throughout the country. Through this program four to five third year law students teach a civil liberties curriculum to Central High seniors. Law students receive academic credit for their participation, and are supervised by Professor Sam Marcosson.