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Appellate Court Experience Program

Appellate Court Experience – ACE – is the new and innovative educational program for high school students co-sponsored by the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF), LACBA’s Appellate Courts Committee (“Committee”), and the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers ("Academy"). This is ACE&'s inaugural year, and it will have served over 250 students and involved at least 18 appellate attorneys and 12 appellate justices by the end of the school term.

ACE starts with a classroom curriculum lead by appellate attorneys from our Committee and the Academy, featuring a pending appeal, followed by a classroom visit to the Court of Appeal to view oral arguments in the case previously studied in the classroom. After argument, the students interact with the justices and the attorneys, thus learning first-hand the appellate court process. ACE has received very positive feedback from students, teachers, attorneys and justices. Two more sessions are planned before the end of this school year.

But additional funding – and volunteers – are needed. Transportation and meals are the biggest costs. To date, the CRF has bore the lion's share of the program's financial expenses. The Academy has also made a generous contribution. Our Committee, however, has no budget and must instead rely on the generosity of its members and their law firms.

Law firms and individual attorneys can support this innovative educational program by making a contribution to the CRF. The foundation is 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. You're probably already familiar with some of their programs 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 $100.00 dollars will be acknowledged in CRF's annual report, and all donations supporting ACE will 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, California, 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 (Laura@crf-usa.org) 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 either Randee Barak (randee.barak@jud.ca.gov) or Benjamin Shatz (bshatz@manatt.com).