Kids' Court School educates children and youth about the court process with an evidence-based curriculum designed to educate children about the process and reduce the potentially traumatic effects of the courtroom. The program focuses on legal knowledge, stress reduction strategies, and courtroom desensitization through a mock trial in an actual courtroom.
Children between 4 and 17 who are scheduled to appear in court in any capacity – as a witness, victim, or youth charged with a crime – are eligible to participate in the Kids' Court School. Sometimes they are subpoenaed by courts, but don't have to be to participate. Parents or legal guardians also can bring children to the Kids' Court School. This is no charge for participation in the Kids' Court School.
Kids' Court School Curriculum
The Kids' Court School was established to help educate children about the courtroom process and to reduce anxiety typically associated with participation in the legal process.
Children participate in two one-hour sessions. The first focuses on the pretrial and trial processes, where they learn about courtroom processes and the roles and functions of courtroom participants. During this session, children also learn communication techniques, including the importance of telling the truth and the ability to ask for clarification during questioning.
Shortly before the trial begins, children participate in the second session, which includes learning the concepts of deep breathing and positive self-talk to help reduce anxiety while testifying. They also participate in a mock trial, held in either the Thomas & Mack Moot Court at the William S. Boyd School of Law or the National Judicial College at University of Nevada, Reno.