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Source: Ashoka

The Case for Studying Law in Middle School

This article originally appeared on Medium

Sneha Durairaj always wanted to be a lawyer. When she was eight years old, she slipped her dad a folded-up sheet of notebook paper and asked for an autograph — only to unfold it and triumphantly reveal a contract that doubled her weekly allowance.

Over a decade later, the Boston-based college student was standing on stage at T-Mobile’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington in February 2020, recounting the story to a rapt audience and a panel of T-Mobile executives and expert guests. That’s when she revealed her new idea, “Legally Ours” — a free 8-week after school program designed to equip middle school students to understand the law — and introduced her partner for the project, Tom Dulski.

Together, Sneha and Tom are looking to transform how young people engage with the law. Usually an inaccessible subject, the law seems reserved for people in the legal profession, not ordinary citizens — much less middle school students.

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Ashoka insight

Sneha: “If you don’t understand your rights, you don’t know when you’re giving them up. That’s why it’s really important to understand the law. So that you know what you have and you’re able to use it and speak up for what you believe in.”