The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project started at American University and now has chapters nationwide.
Each year, the Colorado Chapter partners a select group of upper level Colorado Law students ("Teaching Fellows") with public school teachers in underserved high schools to teach a course about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Over the course of the Fall semester, Teaching Fellows spend one day a week in the classroom, educating their high school counterparts about the Constitution and the importance of civic participation, encouraging them to explore their public speaking potential, and exposing them to higher education opportunities.
Teaching Fellows also coach the high school students for a moot court competition. In each class, all of the students do one round of oral argument, which enhances their understanding of the substantive issue and pushes them to engage in public speaking.
All of the high school students are invited to participate in the Colorado Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition, which is hosted at Colorado Law every year. This event allows students to compete against their peers from other Colorado high schools in oral argument rounds judged by local lawyers and judges. Each year, around forty students compete in the Colorado competition.
The finalists from the Colorado Competition have the opportunity to participate in the National Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition, which features the top high school students from across the country. In addition to competing, students tour the nation's capital and interact with public officials.
In 2019, three of Colorado’s six competitors made it to the semi-finals of the national competition. One of our competitors, Zail Acosta, made it to the finals and was named the best oralist representing petitioner in the country.