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Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers

Street Law, Inc.

Over 40 years of educating about law, democracy, and human rights

Since it began in 1995, the Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers has brought together over 1,200 teachers from across the country to convene in Washington, D.C., for six days of educational activities related to teaching about the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The Institute is co-sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Learn more

related resources


Lee Arbetman

executive director

Cathy Ruffing

senior director, teacher professional development programs & curriculum

Erica Wang

program coordinator

The Institute includes sessions led by Supreme Court experts, journalists, authors, and lawyers, who give teachers an in-depth understanding of how the Court chooses and decides cases, and what it is like to argue before the Court. The Institute covers six current or recent cases, and teachers even learn about the personalities of the justices. This exciting opportunity culminates with a visit to the Court to hear decisions handed down and a reception at the Court.

The Institute prepares teachers to use innovative methods to teach about both current and historical cases. Beyond the content-rich sessions and activities, teachers are also equipped with the skills and tools to train fellow teachers at home.

The application window for the 2018 Supreme Court Summer Institute has closed. Look for the application to the 2019 Institute in October 2018.

Eligible Applicants

  • 30 teachers from across the country will be accepted for each Institute (60 total)
  • Admission is based on a competitive application process
  • Applicants must teach or supervise secondary social studies or law-related education
  • Applicants must commit to attend all sessions and train other secondary school teachers
  • Teachers who have already attended one of Street Law's Supreme Court Institutes or Seminars are not eligible for this program
  • Applicants from ethnic and racial minorities, people teaching in urban schools or on Native American reservations, and people new to the teaching profession are encouraged to apply. 

Teaching Materials

Supreme Court Institute Alumni Facebook Group

Past participants are invited to join the SCSI Alumni Facebook Group.  Share lesson plans, ask questions, and learn about other professional development opportunities.  If you have any problems accessing the group, email Cathy Ruffing.

Get the Word Out

We depend on past participants to publicize the Supreme Court Institutes and Seminars.  If you're presenting or attending a workshop and can hand out brochures, contact Cathy Ruffing.


Regional Supreme Court Seminar Participants

Below are materials from past Regional Supreme Court Seminars.