Maryland Courts

Judges Bring Civics to the Classroom

On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, Maryland judges, attorneys, and other justice officials helped students learn about law and society during the Civics and Law Academy in Carroll County. During this half-day session, students from Carroll County Career and Technology Center, Manchester Valley High School, and North Carroll High School in Hampstead met with judges and other legal professionals to discuss juvenile rights, criminal law, free speech, and law in the technology age.

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera was the plenary speaker for the event, which included approximately 100 students from the participating schools.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. It is essential that they have an understanding of our system of justice, our rights, and our laws,” said Chief Judge Barbera. “The Academy provides a chance for young people to take part in an intensive program that will help them gain the knowledge, skills, and values needed to participate in our civil society.”

“We tie in issues that students deal with every day, so they ask great questions and raise interesting ideas,” said Judge Pamila J. Brown, who sits on the District Court bench in Howard County and is president of the Maryland Bar Association.

In addition to Chief Judge Barbera and Judge Brown, several judges from Carroll County took part in the December 1 program: Judge J. Barry Hughes, who has been named administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Carroll County effective January 6, 2016, Circuit Judge Fred Hecker, Circuit Judge Thomas Stansfield, District Judge Brian Green, and retired District Judge Marc Rasinsky. They were joined by members of the Maryland and Carroll County bar associations.

The Civics and Law Academy’s hosting partners include the Maryland Judiciary, the Maryland State Bar Association, the Citizenship and Law-Related Education Program, and the American Bar Association. Carroll County Public Schools and the Carroll County Bar Association were partners in the December 1 program.

The Civics and Law Academy is designed to help high school students gain a better understanding of the law, how our government works, and the roles individuals play in a democracy.  Academy sessions are held during the school year at various locations in Maryland.

For more information about the Civics and Law Academy, contact the Maryland Judiciary Office of Communications and Public Affairs by calling 410-260-1488 or emailing

Chief Judge Barbera addressing students Chief Judge Barbera addressing students
Civics and Law Academy 2015 Civics and Law Academy 2015
Civics and Law Academy 2015 Civics and Law Academy 2015

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