The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project

The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, named in honor of Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan, Jr., is a civic education project which provides law students with real-world classroom experience while teaching at local underserved high schools. Participating students enroll in Education and the Constitution, an advanced constitutional law seminar designed to teach students the substantive constitutional law governing public education. The Marshall-Brennan Project focuses on teaching high school students about the Bill of Rights, while also engaging students in rigorous writing and speaking exercises using real cases and legal materials. The classroom experience culminates in a moot court competition featuring the participating high school students. This project exists in 19 law schools across America and has affiliates in three other countries.

The UNM Chapter of Marshall-Brennan recognizes New Mexico’s unique cultural and ethnic heritage, providing coverage of topics including the interaction of tribal law and the Federal Constitution. The spring of 2012 marked the inaugural semester of the Marshall-Brennan Project at UNM and began with a small group of four teaching Fellows who worked with students from Atrisco Heritage Academy in Albuquerque’s South Valley. Since 2012, the project has grown rapidly, and in the spring of 2014, over thirty students participated in the program, reaching out to hundreds of students at seven schools. In the fall of 2014, the UNM Chapter aims to teach semester-long seminars in several high schools, including Valley High School, West Mesa High School, Amy Biehl High School, Wallatowa High School, and Robert F. Kennedy Charter School. The UNM Chapter will also teach a number of one-time symposiums at local Albuquerque high schools. UNM School of Law is pleased to welcome visiting professor Maryam Ahranjani, associate director of the National Marshall-Brennan Project and co-author of Youth Justice in America, who will direct the project during the fall of 2014.

For more information about the UNM Chapter

Contact Professor Ahranjani at ahranjani@law.unm.edu

For more information about the national program

Visit wcl.american.edu/marshallbrennan