To provide law-related and citizenship education for Utah's youth and communities through interactive educational experiences and curricula which foster in them an understanding of the law, the legal system, and their rights and responsibilities as engaged citizens.
Respect for the law is a mark of respect for the rights of others and an essential ingredient of a civil society. At times, this concept may be difficult to understand, particularly for the young. Often, youth see laws as unreasonable restrictions imposed by adult authorities on their personal freedom rather than as necessary safeguards to protect their rights and the rights of others.
Law Related Education (LRE) programs and curricula are designed to give people an understanding and appreciation of the law, the legal system, and their rights and responsibilities as engaged citizens. The programs employ legal processes and principles to help people find practical solutions to every day problems. Students in LRE programs are active, hands-on participants. Community resource persons who work within the legal system are an important part of the LRE team.
Law Related Education helps youth become effective, law-abiding citizens by promoting civic responsibility and and community participation. It increases young people's self-esteem and promotes a more favorable attitude toward authority figures. It may be used in school, counseling, probation, or institutional settings. LRE is an important part of the nationwide effort to prevent violence and restore mutual respect and civility to American community life.
In 1974, Scott and Norma Matheson, together with J. Thomas and Kay Greene, created Utah Law Related Education to provide law-related and citizenship education for Utah's youth and communities through interactive educational experiences. Since that time, LRE has served all of Utah's 40 school districts in grades kindergarten through twelve and many of its communities. In 1989, Law-Related Education Project, Inc. was incorporated as a permanent organizational home for law-related education programs in Utah.
Over the years, Utah Law Related Education has trained thousands of students, educators, community representatives, attorneys, court employees, juvenile justice professionals, and other legal professionals through a host of institutes, seminars, courses, and programs, such as the Mock Trial Competition, Salt Lake Peer Court Program, elementary and secondary Mentor/Dialogue on Democracy Programs, Teaching Law in the High Schools Seminar at the S. J. Quinney College of Law, Court Tour Programs, Youth Summits, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Program, We the People: Project Citizen, Representative Democracy in America, Conflict Management Programs, Mock Mediation Showcases, Juvenile Justice Programs, and Youth Summits.