- February 24, 2023 | News
2023 Teachers’ Law Symposium Empowers Educators to Shape Future Generations Through Civics Education
The Trial Lawyers Section’s 12th annual Teachers’ Law Symposium was recently held in Orlando, drawing civics and social studies teachers from across the state. The three-day program aimed to provide high school and middle school educators with knowledge and resources to assist their students in understanding the value and importance of the legal system.
The Symposium kicked off with a presentation from Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos G. Muñiz, who gave an insightful overview of the role of the Supreme Court and the Florida Constitution.
Throughout the weekend, teachers attended workshops and sessions by highly respected judges, professors, and lawyers who shared practical perspectives on the court system and how the law influences our daily lives. The program included discussions on recent Supreme Court decisions, an overview of state and federal court systems and the judicial role, the Fourth Amendment and the exclusionary rule, and bankruptcy courts and financial literacy. The program also included a workshop on how to develop a mock trial program for high school students.
“The event is a testament to the Trial Lawyers Section’s commitment to supporting education in Florida,” said Weston Smith, Chair of the Trial Lawyers Section. “We aim to provide educators with tools to help students understand the importance of the constitution, an independent judiciary, and the legislative process.”
James Gassenheimer, Program Chair for the Symposium, said he is excited that this year we brought together over 100 teachers to hear from highly respected and experienced judges, legal educators, and lawyers from around the state of Florida, who live and work with the law daily, to share the realities of the practice of law and how and why our justice system works the way that it does, to protect our individual rights.
“We had eight speakers, including Professor Charlton Copeland from the University of Miami School of Law and Professor Lyrissa Lidsky from the University of Florida Law School. This is a true pro-bono effort; all the speakers and event committee members volunteer their time. The Trial Lawyers Section sponsors the program by covering the cost for attendees for travel and lodging. Running the program has been one of the most rewarding undertakings of my legal career,” said Gassenheimer.
“As President Barack Obama said, ‘change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.’ I believe this program embodies the spirit of these words. Helping our educators touches every life they touch and has an exponential impact on the communities in which we live and work,” said Gassenheimer.
Attendees shared positive feedback about their experience. One teacher noted, “the entire experience was uplifting and reminded me of the importance of what I’m doing as a civics teacher.”
This year’s 12th annual Symposium was held from January 20-22, 2023, at the Gaylord Palms Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
Learn more about the annual Teachers’ Law Symposium here: https://floridatls.org/teachers-law-symposium/