Hate Crimes Education


Since 1993, Colorado Lawyers Committee volunteers have presented trials to middle school students based on a fictional case arising from a violation of Colorado’s Hate/Bias-Motivated Crimes Statute (formerly the Ethnic Intimidation Statute). At the conclusion of the trial, small discussion groups of students act as jurors to discuss the issues presented and, with the assistance of an adult facilitator, reach a verdict. The students become very engaged in discussing diversity in their community, and learn the value of preventing the spread of racial slurs and hateful actions.

We’re looking for lawyers, law students, and others to volunteer and help present these trials at schools throughout Colorado. Presentations generally take less than three hours and are scheduled throughout the school year. This is an excellent volunteer opportunity for transactional lawyers, who generally serve as facilitators or the judge, litigators, other legal professionals, and law students. The program needs volunteers to serve as prosecutors, defense attorneys and facilitators. This is a unique opportunity for lawyers to practice their advocacy skills in front of a live audience, and for non-litigators and non-lawyers to be involved in a meaningful activity that has a lasting impact on our youth.

Photo of Phyllis Wan in front of students