Minneapolis (3-26-01): -- Educating and inspiring teens about the law is the goal of the fifth annual Legal Expo, which was held Wednesday, March 14 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This free event, sponsored annually by the Hennepin County and Ramsey County bar associations, features volunteer attorneys, judges, and law enforcement professionals leading educational sessions designed for high school students.
Over 700 students and teachers attended from twenty area schools, most from the metro area, but others from as far away as Eden Valley/Watkins, Becker, and Montgomery. 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 program began with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit demonstrating the abilities of police dogs Hogan and Budij. Each hour throughout the morning students chose from three concurrent seminars. Topics included: Capital Punishment; Parties and Alcohol; Teens and Family Law; Careers in the Law; Teen Crime and Consequences; and Internet Use. Students also had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Minnesota’s appellate and district court judges.
An extensive array of "hands-on" displays allowed students to examine equipment and ask questions of law professionals. Court reporters demonstrated real time transcriptions; the Minneapolis Bomb and Arson Unit showed off its robot; and members of the Highway Patrol, the Minneapolis SWAT team and Forensic Science Unit, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Crime Labs all demonstrated equipment and responded to students questions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org