The Justice Institute

The Justice Institute

The Justice Institute

The District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in partnership with the Eastern District of New York Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, hosted approximately 100 students from more than 25 Long Island high schools for a civics program called The EDNY Justice Institute. The annual program, led by U.S. Circuit Court Judge Joseph Bianco, is designed to introduce incoming 10th graders to the workings of the federal courts and the criminal justice system, and to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry. The program was held at the Long Island Federal Courthouse in Central Islip as well as Touro Law Center and consisted of several components that allowed the students to learn about the legal system and to develop basic advocacy skills in a fun and interesting format.

Students heard presentations from federal judges, FBI agents, a U.S. Secret Service Agent, Deputy U.S. Marshals, law professors, federal prosecutors, and criminal defense lawyers about their respective roles within the federal court system. The students also observed real court proceedings in the federal courthouse – including a guilty plea and a sentencing – and discussed what they observed with a federal judge. Finally, the students were taught basic advocacy skills in several sessions by experienced lawyers, engaged in daily practice sessions with Touro Law students who served as their mock trial coaches, and participated at the end of the week in the mock trial competition against the other high school students.

Associate Dean Myra Berman, who worked with Judge Bianco in developing the program stated, “This program opens up the minds of high school students and teaches them about the law and legal careers. The program will surely have a lasting impact on those who participate.”

This year, the Massapequa High School team took top honors, being coached by Touro Law second-year student Johanna Sanchez. A special thanks to all who participated and helped make this a memorable event for all involved.


Read the Newsday article on the Justice Institute, "Eastern District gives students chance to see courtroom and participate in judicial system."

students holding awards




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