The California Constitutional Literacy Initiative (CCLI) aims to broaden public understanding of the Constitution by using the knowledge and energy of law students outside the Hastings campus. It facilitates greater exchange between Hastings and secondary schools in the San Francisco Bay area and fosters a more accurate community vision of the legal profession.
The Initiative gives talented law students an extraordinary opportunity: the chance to teach a course about legal rights and citizenship to students while explaining the process of legal education and encouraging interest in the U.S. Constitution. After working closely in a small-group setting to learn about pedagogy and community service, students take their knowledge and skills into local high schools and other educational facilities to run their own classes.
Since the program began in 2009, UC Hastings students have taught hundreds of students at eight local high schools, including three schools in San Francisco (International Studies Academy, Lincoln High School, and Civic Center Secondary School), two in Oakland (McClymonds High School and Mandela Academy), Richmond High School, Berkeley High School, and Westmoor High School in Daly City. Our newest program, started in Fall 2012 because of student interest in teaching incarcerated people, sends a team of student teachers to the Five Keys Charter School at the San Bruno campus of the San Francisco County Jails to teach about criminal procedure and constitutional rights.
Students enroll for three non-course credits. Most students teach in teams of two, but some work as solo instructors. They meet with teachers and administrators, develop curricula tailored to each classroom, and teach for two to four hours a week, depending on their school placement and schedule.
We encourage all students with teaching backgrounds, an interest in constitutional law, and a desire to get more involved in their communities to pre-register for the course (Community Law Program, Law 860) and send a statement of interest to the course director, Professor Hillman, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested students will be waitlisted until their applications are approved.