School & Community Outreach
Each year, the Alaska Court System works with legal organizations and educational groups to foster law-related education in our state. The Alaska Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Anchorage Bar Association and other groups offer excellent educational programs that help students better understand our legal system and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Whether you are an educator, parent or student, we hope you will explore these opportunities for civic engagement and learning, which include iCivics, Supreme Court LIVE, Color of Justice, Law Day, and the Alaska High School Mock Trial Championships.
You can check here for updates, or contact Mara Rabinowitz,
Communications Counsel, for more information at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-264-0879.
Color of Justice 2018
Upcoming Color of Justice Programs
The next Color of Justice Program will be held in the Fall of 2018 at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka.
Check here for more details as they become available.
The Color of Justice program brings diverse youth from across the state together for exciting workshops and activities designed to introduce them to the study of law and to encourage them to consider legal and judicial careers.
Color of Justice 2017 high school program held at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
On October 5-6, 2017, the Alaska Court System and the Anchorage School District hosted the 2017 Color of Justice program. Color of Justice is a law-related education program founded by the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) designed to promote diversity in the legal profession and judiciary by encouraging diverse youth to consider careers as lawyers and judges. Nearly 80 students from high schools across Anchorage participated in two days of workshops and other activities presented by representatives from Gonzaga University School of Law, Seattle University School of Law, University of Washington School of Law and the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center. The program is also supported by the Alaska Bar Association, the Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Justice Center, Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Law School Admission Council, and the Northwest Indian Bar Association. The two-day program took place at Bartlett High School and the Boney Courthouse in the Supreme Court Courtroom and trial courtrooms.
Color of Justice sessions included “MentorJet: A Speed Mentoring Experience” (where students met with diverse lawyers, judges, and justices, including professors from participating law schools, and representatives from Native Corporations), “Constitutional Cranium” (a quiz show on Alaska constitutional knowledge), a “You be the Judge” session, and multiple mock trials. New to Color of Justice this year was a session on social media and the law taught by a member of the court system’s access to justice technology team.
Mentors for the Color of Justice 2017 MentorJet Program
Back Row L-R: Miguel Willis, Professor Christian Halliburton, Peter Boskofsky, Judge Herman Walker, Professor Terry Price
Front Row: L-R: Judge Pamela Washington, Sarah Park, Kirsten Kinegak-Friday, Magistrate Judge Una Gandbhir, Justice Susan Carney, Judge Kari McCrea
Magistrate Judges, District Court Judges, Superior Court Judges and two Supreme Court Justices volunteered their time as mentors for the MentorJet program, and as judges in the mock trials. Countless court system and school district administrators and staff also volunteered their time to prepare, bus, and chaperone students and to create all the materials for the program, and prepare the various venues. Attorneys from the Attorney General’s office, the District Attorneys’ office, the Public Defender Agency, the Office of Public Advocacy, the Alaska Bar Association’s Law-Related Education Committee, and Anchorage Youth Court volunteered by mentoring students and serving as their coaches during the mock trials and Constitutional Cranium.
Color of Justice 2016 high school program held at Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka.
On November 7-8, 2016, the Alaska Court System, Mount Edgecumbe High School, and Sitka Bar Association hosted the Color of Justice program. Color of Justice is a law-related education program founded by the National Association of Women Judges designed to promote diversity in the legal profession and judiciary by encouraging diverse youth to consider careers as lawyers and judges. Over 100 students from communities and villages across the state participated in two days of workshops and other activities presented by representatives from Gonzaga University School of Law, Seattle University School of Law, and University of Washington School of Law. The program is also supported by the Alaska Bar Association, Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Justice Center, Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Law School Admission Council, and the Northwest Indian Bar Association. The two-day program took place at Mount Edgecumbe High School.
Students who participated came from over 50 different villages and communities including: Akiak, Alakanuk, Aleknagik, Anchorage, Bethel, Buckland, Chalkyitsik, Chenega Bay, Craig, Dillingham, Eagle River, Eek, Ekwok, Emmonak, False Pass, Fort Yukon, Glennallen, Haines, Holy Cross, Hoonah, Hydaburg, Iliamna, Kipnuk, Kobuk, Kodiak, Kotlik, Kotzebue, Kwethluk, Marshall, McGrath, Mountain Village, Nanwalek, Napaskiak, Nelson Lagoon, Nome, Nunapitchuk, Old Harbor, Palmer, Pilot Station, Point Hope, Port Lions, Saint Marys, Savoonga, Scammon Bay, Shishmaref, Sitka, Togiak, Tuntutuliak, Unalakleet, Wasilla, and Yakutat.
Volunteer attorney Teka Lamade working with students during Constitutional Cranium.
Magistrate Judge Mike Jackson mentoring students.
Color of Justice sessions included "MentorJet: A Speed Mentoring Experience," where students met with diverse lawyers, judges, and justices, including Chief Tribal Judge Peter Esquiro of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and Mount Edgecumbe graduates and attorneys Nicole Borromeo and Peter Boskofsky. “Constitutional Cranium,” a quiz show on constitutional knowledge, a “You be the Judge” program, and an Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) case study on Alaskan tribal courts were some of the programs that took place.
Increasing diversity on the bench is important to fostering public trust and confidence in our justice system, according to Senior Justice Fabe. Color of Justice serves this goal, she says, "by affirming for our young women and youth of color that the judiciary is a career path that is open to them." In a recent opinion piece, Mt. Edgecumbe and Gonzaga University School of Law graduate and mentor Peter Boskofsky explained how Color of Justice can spark students’ interest in law and promote diversity: https://www.adn.com/commentary/article/color-justice-program-increases-youth-interest-legal-career-and-hopefully-diversity/2016/04/04/ .
Color of Justice 2016 high school program held at CIRI and the Anchorage Courthouses.
On February 25-26, 2016, the Alaska Court System, University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Justice Center, and Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) hosted the Color of Justice program. Over 70 high school students from villages across the state and from Anchorage area high schools attended two days of workshops and other activities presented by law professors from Gonzaga University School of Law, Seattle University School of Law, University of Alaska Anchorage, and University of Washington School of Law. The program was also supported by the Alaska Bar Association, Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Justice Center, Anchorage School District, Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Law School Admission Council, Northwest Indian Bar Association, and Rotary Club of East Anchorage.
New to Color of Justice this year, was a Rural Student Initiative made possible by contributions from all 12 ANCSA Regional Corporations, the Alaska Native Justice Center, and by program support from the UAA Justice Center, the Multicultural Center, the Alaska Native Student Center, Alaska Native Studies Program, UAA Department of Anthropology, Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), the UAA Pre-Law Society, and the First Alaskans Institute. Rural Student Initiative attendees traveled from Akutan, Atqasuk, Chignik Lake, Dillingham, Dutch Harbor, Egegik, Fairbanks, Galena, Hooper Bay, Houston, Huslia, Kaktovik, King Cove, Kongiganek, Kotzebue, Koyuk, Larsen Bay, Nenana, Nikiski, Saint Paul Island, Soldotna, and Valdez. Participating Anchorage area students came from Bartlett, Dimond, Eagle River, East, SAVE, Service, and West high schools.
Color of Justice sessions included "MentorJet: A Speed Mentoring Experience," where students got the chance to meet with 14 diverse lawyers, judges, and justices, including Supreme Court Justice Dana Fabe. They also participated in "Constitutional Cranium," a quiz show on Alaska constitutional knowledge hosted by Judge Pamela Washington and UAA Justice Center Prof. Jason Brandeis, and a Mock Trial coordinated by UAA Justice Center Prof. Ryan Fortson with 16 volunteer mock trial coaches from across the state.
Mentor Prof. Mathiew Le meets with Color of Justice 2016 student participants.
Mentors for the Color of Justice 2016 MentorJet Program
Mentor Peter Boskofsky meet with Color of Justice 2016 students.
For the rural high school students attending the program this year, the Rural Student Initiative coordinated donated food, transportation, and friendly volunteers and students who welcomed Initiative students and showed them the UAA campus and spoke to them about educational and cultural issues. Volunteer host families in Anchorage housed the students, fed them, and transported them to and from the program events. Some Initiative students required chopper and bush plane hops to get from island to mainland to hub village to Ted Stevens International Airport. Some had never seen a traffic light, or been in a movie theatre. They not only converged in Anchorage to learn about the legal profession and all that it has to offer them and their nation, state, community and ethnic group, but they did so alongside students from Anchorage who brought their own perspectives, but from an urban environment. The convergence was historic.
National Association of Women Judges
Alaska Bar Association
Alaska Court System
Alaska Federation of Natives
Alaska Native Justice Center
Anchorage School District
Cook Inlet Region, Inc.
Council on Legal Education Opportunity
Gonzaga University School of Law
Law School Admission Council
Northwest Indian Bar Association
Perkins Coie LLP
Rotary Club of Anchorage East
Seattle University School of Law
University of Alaska Anchorage
University of Washington School of Law
Learn about your government…the fun way!
Alaska’s Supreme Court Justice Dana Fabe invites Alaska's young people to learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship the fun and effective way, through a new online program available for FREE at www.icivics.org. iCivics is a new web-based education project founded by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.) to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. Alaskan educators and their students are encouraged to visit the website and check out the games, web quests and other great resources for civic learning. If you would like to have a judge or attorney visit your classrooms to present an iCivics activity, please contact the Clerk of Court at the courthouse nearest you or the court's statewide Judicial Outreach Mara Rabinowitz, at 907-264-0879 or email@example.com.
Chief Justice Fabe visited Romig Middle School in October 2013 to talk with students about iCivics.
She also worked with the students as they played interactive iCivics games online.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.), founder of iCivics, visited Anchorage on September 5, 2012, to promote the program. Here she meets with principals and teachers from the Anchorage middle schools that participated in the 2012 "iCivics Middle School Challenge." With Justice O'Connor in the front row are (starting 2nd from left): Hanna Sebold, President, Alaska Bar Association; Justice O'Connor; Chief Justice Dana Fabe, Alaska Supreme Court; and Justice Walter Carpeneti, former Alaska iCivics Chair (2010-2013).
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 907-264-0879
FAIRNESS, DIVERSITY, EQUALITY
Our Justice System Depends on Them; What Do They Mean to You?
The Alaska Bar Association’s Law-Related Education Committee
The Alaska Supreme Court’s Access to Civil Justice Committee
The Alaska Supreme Court’s Fairness, Diversity & Equality Committee
Prizes Made Possible Through Generous Support From:
Perkins Coie, LLP
The "Justice for All" Art Contest asked students to submit two-dimensional artworks on the theme "Fairness, Diversity, Equality: Our justice system depends on them. What do they mean to you?" The contest received entries from K-8 students from all across Alaska. Finalists were selected by members of the court system's appellate staff, representatives from the Alaska Bar Association's Law-Related Education Committee, and members of the Alaska Supreme Court's Fairness, Diversity & Equality Committee and Access to Civil Justice Committee. The contest sponsors would like to extend special thanks to Perkins Coie LLC for donating the contest prizes. We also wish to congratulate the contest winners, and to thank all of the entrants for their wonderful works of art, which inspire us to ensure that fairness, diversity and equality continue to be vital values of our justice system.
CATEGORY A: GRADES K-4
Please Note: The artists' names are linked to photos
of their artwork.
The Artists' Statements are in PDF format.
First Prize: $250.00
Second Prize: $150.00
Third Prize: $100.00
- SAMUEL BUTENKO, Grade 3, Delta Elementary School, Delta Junction Artist's Statement
- AARON CHAKINE, Grade 1, Tudor Montessori School, Anchorage Artist's Statement
- JAYDEN HOLLON, Grade 4, Rogers Park Elementary School, Anchorage Artist's Statement
CATEGORY B: GRADES 5-8
First Prize: $250.00
Second Prize: $150.00
Third Prize: $100.00
- MAIA BROWN, Grade 7, Mears Middle School, Anchorage Artist's Statement
- KEEGAN HANSON, Grade 6, Craig Middle School, Craig Artist's Statement
- VICTORIA PATTERSON, Grade 8, Barnette Magnet School, Fairbanks Artist's Statement
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS FOR THEIR
BEAUTIFUL, CREATIVE ART WORKS!
AND SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE WONDERFUL ARTISTS
FOR REMINDING US OF THE IMPORTANCE OF
FAIRNESS DIVERSITY & EQUALITY
TO OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM!
For more information: email@example.com; 907-264-0879
Law Day, which is celebrated every year on May 1, is a special day focusing on our nation's heritage of liberty under the rule of law. This national day of celebration was officially designated by joint resolution of Congress in 1961. The 2018 theme enables us to reflect on the separation of powers as fundamental to our constitutional purpose and to consider how our governmental system is working for ourselves and our posterity.
The U.S. Constitution sets out a system of government with distinct and independent branches—Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court. It also defines legislative, executive, and judicial powers and outlines how they interact. These three separate branches share power, and each branch serves as a check on the power of the others. “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” James Madison explained in Federalist 51. Why? Madison believed that the Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances preserve political liberty. They provide a framework for freedom. Yet, this framework is not self-executing. We the people must continually act to ensure that our constitutional democracy endures, preserving our liberties and advancing our rights.
The 2014 annual Law Day Luncheon featured the keynote address: Law-Related Education--New Frontiers in Community Education and Outreach for Alaska's State and Federal Judiciaries. The speakers were L-R: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Morgan Christen, Chief Justice Dana Fabe, and U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ralph Beistline.
The 2015 Law Day Theme was “Magna Carta: Symbol and Freedom Under Law.” The Keynote address was “Choosing Alaska’s ‘Tallest Timber’ For the Judiciary: Theory and Practice,” presented by Constitutional Convention Delegate Vic Fischer and Retired Justice Walter Carpeneti.
For more information about Law Day in your community, contact your local clerk of court or the Area Court Administrator of your judicial district. Area Court Administrators are:
- 1st Judicial District (Southeast): Neil Nesheim, 463-4753
- 2nd District (Northern): Brodie Kimmel, 443-5216
- 3rd District (Southcentral): Carol McAllen, 264-0415
- 4th District (Interior & Southwest): Ron Woods, 452-9201
For more information about Law Day in general, visit the American Bar Association website at www.lawday.org.
Upcoming Supreme Court LIVE Programs
To Be Announced.
In February 2010, the Alaska Supreme Court launched a new educational outreach program, Supreme Court LIVE, to bring oral arguments in actual pending cases to student audiences at Alaskan high schools. Designed to help students better understand our justice system, this unique learning opportunity debuted at West High School in Anchorage on February 19, 2010, before 400 high school students from across the Anchorage School District.
Justices of the Alaska Supreme Court at
the October 19, 2016 Palmer program with Colony High School students.
The second Supreme Court LIVE program was held at Juneau-Douglas High School on Constitution Day--September 17, 2010—before 600 students from both JDHS and Thunder Mountain High School. The third program was held February 24, 2011, at West High School in Anchorage before 700 students from seven area high schools. The fourth program was held at Lathrop High School’s Hering Auditorium in Fairbanks on February 6, 2012 before high school students from across the Fairbanks area. Two days later, on February 8, 2012, the program returned to West High School in Anchorage for a third time. On October 29, 2012, the court traveled to Sitka and held argument at Mount Edgecumbe High School which was attended by students from both Sitka high schools. The court traveled to Barrow to hold argument on October 3, 2013 before the entire student body of Barrow High School. In February of 2014, the program was held at West High school, and in November of 2014, the court held argument at Ketchikan High School. In its first excursion to the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, the Alaska Supreme Court heard oral argument at Colony High School in Palmer on October 19, 2016.
The court with timers from the Ketchikan High School National Honor Society and ushers from the Ketchikan Youth Court, 2014 Supreme Court LIVE program in Ketchikan. Back Row L-R: Justice Peter Maassen, Justice Daniel Winfree, Justice Dana Fabe, Justice Craig Stowers, Justice Joel Bolger The court with timers from the Ketchikan High School National Honor Society and ushers from the Ketchikan Youth Court.
Justices of the Alaska Supreme Court at the October 3, 2013 Barrow program with student volunteers from the Barrow High School Student Council who served as timers and ushers. Members of the court include (L-R): Justice Joel Bolger, Justice Daniel Winfree, Chief Justice Dana Fabe, and Justice Peter Maassen.
Keys to the success of the program are the advance visits to classrooms by volunteer attorney teams. Attorneys provide both an overview of the legal system and appellate process and an in-depth review of the specific cases to be heard. As a result, students come to the arguments prepared and engaged, and leave with a good understanding of the process and the issues at stake.
The court with Juneau Youth Court students who acted as ushers at the September 17, 2010 Juneau program.
The court with the ROTC students who were ushers at the February 2, 2012 Fairbanks program.
Students from any school may participate through use of the material below and replay of the arguments on KTOO's statewide Gavel to Gavel program. Interested teachers may also obtain recordings of the arguments to play in their classrooms as described below. Schools, teachers or attorneys interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to contact the Clerk of Appellate Courts, Marilyn May.
Justices of the Alaska Supreme Court gather at the October 2012 Supreme Court LIVE program at Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. Members of the court include (L-R): Justice Craig Stowers, Justice Walter Carpeneti (Ret.), Chief Justice Dana Fabe, Justice Daniel Winfree, and Justice Peter Maassen.
Justices of the Alaska Supreme Court gather at the close of the October 2012 Supreme Court LIVE program in Sitka with members of the student ROTC program who served as ushers for the event. Members of the court include (L-R): Justice Craig Stowers, Justice Walter Carpeneti (Ret.), Chief Justice Dana Fabe, Justice Daniel Winfree, and Justice Peter Maassen.
- Specific information about the cases argued at Supreme Court
- Kenai, March 29, 2018
- Palmer, October 19, 2016
- Anchorage, February 24, 2016
- Ketchikan, November 19, 2014
- Anchorage, February 21, 2014
- Barrow, October 3, 2013
- Sitka, October 29, 2012
- Anchorage, February 8, 2012
- Fairbanks, February 6, 2012
- Anchorage, February 24, 2011
- Juneau, September 17, 2010
- Anchorage, February 19, 2010