The Alabama Center for Law & Civic Education (ACLCE) is dedicated to educating young citizens in the areas of civic knowledge, skills and responsibilities. ACLCE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit civic organization established in June 1990, is a nationally recognized resource and training center for teachers, school resource officers and community leaders. Located inside Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, ACLCE is a non-partisan organization and the only entity of its kind in Alabama that provides civic and law-related education. The goal of ACLCE is to prepare youth to become active, engaged, and informed participants in a democratic society.
There are two programs in which Cumberland School of Law students can get involved: We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution and We the People: Project Citizen. ACLCE seeks volunteers to work with students and teachers in the public and private schools in the area. These opportunities for community involvement are a benefit to the law student as well as students who are enriched by the participation.
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
This program is offered to middle and high school students who will study the history and principles behind the American constitutional democracy. The program’s culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing, where students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge while they evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. The law student volunteers will become familiar with the state questions for the Simulated Congressional Hearings in the local Congressional district which are generally held the first week in December. Using the information learned in the training seminar, the volunteers help mentor/coach students at one or more of the participating schools. Students may also serve as judges for the middle and high school hearings.
We the People: Project Citizen
This curricular program at the middle school and high school levels promotes competent and responsible participation with government at all levels. The program helps participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy while developing support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political efficacy. The students will create a detailed project board along with a documentation binder.
The law student volunteers become familiar with the guidelines for the projects. They will go into the schools and work with groups of students as they learn about public policy and its constitutionality. The law volunteers will help guide the students in their research of potential solutions. Using the information learned in the training seminar, the volunteers help mentor/coach students at one or more of the participating schools. Students may also serve as judges for the middle and high school projects.