Minneapolis (3-14-02): -- Educating and inspiring teens about the law was the goal of the sixth annual Legal Expo, which was held Wednesday, March 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This free event, sponsored annually by the Hennepin County and Ramsey County bar associations, features volunteer attorneys, judges, law enforcement professionals and legal educators leading informational sessions designed for high school students.
Over 750 students and teachers attended the Legal Expo from twenty area schools, traditional and non-traditional, public and private. Most students came from the greater metro area, but others from as far away as Lester Prairie and Becker, Minnesota. Teachers throughout the area have responded enthusiastically to the Legal Expo because of its ability to make the legal system "come to life" for their high school classes.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit, with Argus, Hogan, Bette and Budij opened the program, introducing students to the role of police dogs. Then, each hour throughout the morning, students chose from three concurrent seminars. Topics included: Teen Crime and Consequences; Capital Punishment; Parties and Alcohol; Contracts and Credit; Careers in the Law; and Internet Use. Judge Wilhelmina Wright of Ramsey County District Court discussed issues in the courts with students, including judicial discretion, reasonable suspicion, and protecting the community’s right to security.
"Hands-on" displays were a popular attraction, allowing students to examine equipment and ask questions of law professionals. Law enforcement units from the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minneapolis Police Department displayed specialized equipment of the bomb squad, emergency response and forensic science teams as well as the regular tools of their work. Opportunities were available to ask career-focused questions of all the legal professionals present.
The Hennepin County Bar Association provides a wide range of resources for the community and for youth, including an active speakers bureau; Legal Stuff, a 64 page booklet for teens; TEL-LAW, a legal information message system; Lawyer Referral and Information Services; and other public education programming.
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Photos are available on request.
Contact Duane Stanley, 612-752-6611 or email@example.com