Appellate Court Experience Program


Appellate Court Experience (“ACE”) is an innovative educational program for high school students co-sponsored by the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District; the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF); and LACBA’s Appellate Courts Section. Founded in 2005, ACE has served thousands of students in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. 

ACE begins with a classroom visit in which appellate attorneys from our section discuss the appellate process, focusing on a pending appeal. This is followed by a class visit to the Court of Appeal to watch oral argument in the case previously studied in the classroom. After argument, the students have the opportunity to interact with the justices and the attorneys, and to ask questions about the case and proceedings, thus learning first-hand about the appellate court process. ACE has received very positive feedback from students, teachers, attorneys and justices.

 Additional funding—and volunteers—are always needed for the program. The majority of costs incurred are transportation and meals. To date, the CRF has covered most of the program’s financial expenses;, however, ACE also relies on the generosity of section members and their law firms. Law firms and individual attorneys can support this innovative educational program by making a financial contribution to CRF, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization that works with elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Los Angeles, the state of California, and the nation. Its mission is to instill in our nation’s youth a deeper understanding of citizenship through the values expressed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. To accomplish this mission, the CRF publishes a variety of learning resources on law-related education, along with programs that may sound familiar such as the Los Angeles County and the California State Mock Trial Programs, the Youth Internship Program, and Youth Leadership for Action. Additional information may be found on the CRF web site at www.crf-usa.org

All contributions to CRF are tax deductible. Donations of over $100 will be acknowledged in the CRF’s annual report, and all donations supporting ACE may be acknowledged on the program’s web page and on program materials. Donations may be made by check to the Constitutional Rights Foundation, 601 S. Kingsley Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90005. Please write “Appellate” on the envelope.

If you would like further information about how your firm can be involved, please contact Laura Wesley at CRF or visit the website at http://www.crf-usa.org/appellate-court-experience/appellate-court-experience.html.

If you would like to volunteer to participate in the classroom program, please contact Benjamin Shatz