Kids’ Court is an afterschool program founded by the 2008 – 2009 Minority Law Caucus Board at the S.J. College of Law at the University of Utah. Essentially, law student volunteers teach 5th and 6th grade students from under-served populations in and around Salt Lake City about the law and civic engagement. In the short time since its inception, Kids Court has evolved into a very successful program. The program now consists of year long weekly after-school programs in two elementary schools, and a week long academic camp for another elementary school. As of Fall 2010, weekly Kids’ Court sessions are conducted following a formalized curriculum that meets parts of the Utah Core Curriculum requirements in the areas of social studies, language arts and physical education.
Kids’ Court is designed, organized and run by law students, but the program functions within a unique community partnership involving the S.J. Quinney College of Law Minority Law Caucus, the Pro Bono Initiative at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, the Office of the Deans at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, the Minority Law Caucus at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, the Offices of Equity and Diversity and Student Recruitment at the University of Utah, the College of Education at the University of Utah, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, the Utah Minority Bar Association, Holy Cross Ministries, Rose Park Elementary School and Jackson Elementary School. All of these partnerships help Kids’ Court to thrive, and the founding partners of Kids’ Court are deeply moved by the level of support, dedication and inspiration each of these organizations have brought to the programs.