The lawyers at the Locks Law Firm believe strongly that their obligation to the community does not end at the Courthouse walls. For over five years, a team of Locks lawyers have been going into the Philadelphia public schools on a monthly basis to teach civics lessons to high school students. The program is called A.C.E., which stands for Advancing Civics Education. It is offered in the Philadelphia Public School System as a collaborative effort between the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Bar Association.
This year, Locks Law Partner, Marc P. Weingarten and Locks Law Associates Melanie Garner, Mark Weinstein, and Ryan Anderson have been teaching a class once a month to students at the Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP). GAMP is a unique school in that its students must audition to attend. The school is designed to encourage students with creative talent in music and drama, however they must also take the standard school curriculum as well.
Once every month the Locks law team goes to the school to provide a lesson to their class. The lessons are designed to dovetail with the regular civics curriculum that the class is learning. The students have studied with the Locks Lawyers everything from the origins of the justice systems in ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome, to the Magna Carta, the Constitution, the right to vote, and the jury trial system. The program is interesting and entertaining for both the teachers and the class, and it provides the students an “extra” that the school budget would not ordinarily be able to offer.
Each year the program ends with a Culminating Event, which in the past few years has consisted of a mock trial conducted by the students at the Federal Courthouse for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Each student gets a certificate of completion for participating in the program.
In addition to teaching the students important civics lessons, the program is also designed to expose the students to professionals and lawyers who can serve as role models. Locks Law is proud to participate, through its lawyer volunteers, in this worthy endeavor.