December 19, 2019 Feature

Judicial Outreach in the Courthouse: How a Learning Center Can Teach the Rule of Law

By Judge Nannette A. Baker

Judicial outreach at the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri, starts in the lobby of the 28-story building. That’s the location of the Judicial Learning Center (JLC), which hosts some 5,000 visitors a year. The JLC is a living and breathing educational forum on the rule of law and the role of federal and state courts. The JLC in St. Louis was the first educational center in the country devoted to federal judicial process and has inspired other courts to develop similar exhibits and programs. The JLC, which this fall celebrates the 10th anniversary of its opening, is a three-time winner of the ABA’s Outstanding Law Day Award. The JLC is a space with mock courtrooms and interactive exhibits; it includes oral histories of renowned jurists and activities that effectively explain how our independent judicial system administers justice in the face of today’s challenges. There are also exhibits highlighting noteworthy cases that were tried or heard in St. Louis. Cases such as Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Company and City of Ladue v. Gilleo are displayed as case files on a mock counsel table.

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