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May 16, 2014

Right to Counsel

Grade Level:



In this lesson, students will look at the various dimensions of right to counsel. They will study how the meaning of this right has evolved over time with reference to specific landmark United States Supreme Court cases. Students will develop lists of reasons why such a right is important to the functioning of the adversary process. The lesson ends with an examination of the role of the criminal attorney.

Time needed:

45-60 minutes

Materials required:

Right to Counsel Lesson Plan

Handout 1: The Importance of the Right to Counsel

Handout 2: Access to Counsel

Handout 3: What’s Your Opinion?

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, National Council for the Social Studies:

Theme 6: Power, Authority, and Governance

Theme 10: Civic Ideals and Practices