Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Chadwick Constitutional Education Program

In front: Professor Nathaniel Nichols; In the background: Law student Gregory Skolnik

Recently, Chester High School had a visit about the Chadwick Foundation. Nathaniel C. Nichols, Director of Clinical Programs and Associate Professor of Law from Widener University School of Law, came to the school to prepare students for law day.  Along with him was Gregory Skolnik, third year law student from Widener Law School, to explain the program. The purpose of the Chadwick Constitutional Education Program is to educate Chester High School students on constitutional law. Skolnik explains, "We do this by having the students practice moot court exercises. Moot court exercises are simulated appellate court oral argument. The students that participate are all volunteers. The students select a case, learn the legal issues, practice, and eventually will argue the case at Law Day in the Old Chester County Courthouse before real Philadelphia-area judges. Throughout the process they are instructed by Chadwick Constitutional Education Fellows. These fellows are law students at Widener Law in Wilmington, DE."

Professor Nichols said, "The Chadwick Constitutional Fellow awards two small stipends to Widener law students each year. As Chadwick Fellows, the students are to teach U.S. Constitutional Law to the public." For more than 10 years, the students have done this by teaching Constitutional Law, typically one or two of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, to students at Chester High School. "Students practice the law by taking the facts of a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and do a moot argument before the judges of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas." This is done on May 1st as a part of the national recognition of law day.  

The Chadwick Constitutional Education Program is a great way to learn about the law especially if there is an interest in working in the field of law. This program comes out of the Social Studies Department at Chester High School every year headed by Department Head Farela Howie in conjunction with Widener University Law School. Students are eager to participate in the program and earnestly await the outcome for law day. The Social Studies Department and Widener Law School makes a great combination.


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