Hands-on training for teachers

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The Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Bar Foundation have partnered to offer teachers a way to learn more about the state’s judicial system. Now in its fourth year, the 10-day program, “From the Inside Out: How Indiana’s Courts Work,” allows teachers to visit trial and appellate courts and talk with judges and attorneys about the inner workings of Indiana courts.

training2-15col.jpg During the mock oral argument, workshop participants argued their side of the case in front of three “judges,” while being timed and questioned, as is standard in real oral arguments. (Photos submitted)

Andy Ohmer, an 8th grade U.S. history teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Indianapolis, participated in the program two summers ago. He said that through the workshop, he learned about the Indiana Judges Speakers Bureau and subsequently invited Marion County Superior Court Judges Robert Altice and Jose Salinas to speak to a few of his classes.

Peggy Lehman, also an 8th grade history teacher, said she attended the workshop because she wanted to learn more about Indiana history and government. She said that she was able to integrate into the classroom information she learned about courts and civil rights.

“It was also fun to shock students when I told them I went to the women’s prison,” she said.

training-15col.jpg Two teachers work with a law clerk in the Supreme Court Conference Room to prepare for their mock oral argument.

Lehman said she appreciated learning more about the people who make some of Indiana’s most important decisions. “This program allowed me to see that the judges and courts are made up of real people, just trying to do the best they can for our state.”

The program, which runs June 13 through 24, accepts 20 teachers each summer and offers a $50 stipend to participants. For more information, contact Elizabeth Osborn at, or at 317-233-8682.•


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.