Teacher Review For Pocket Law Firm

Run a law firm to protect the rights of others!

Steve T.
Technology coordinator
Educational Collaborators
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 4
Support 3
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Knowledge gain
Practice
Individual
Small group
Homework
Great with General
How I Use It

For students in civics or U.S. history classes, this is a fun way to learn more about the rights guaranteed to all citizens under constitutions. While the program has a screen with summaries of the various rights available at any time, teachers and students may find it helpful to actually have a handout nearby for quicker access. The music that accompanies the game will quickly grow old, so you may want to start the class with the iPad volume off. Students react differently to competition, so determine if you want to keep track of class scores or simply challenge students to try for personal bests.

I could see this working quite well in small groups, with perhaps three or four students identifying with the on-screen lawyers to help remind the lead attorney, who assigns cases, as to which right has been violated and who has expertise who could help the potential plaintiff.

Students could use this at home for review, even sitting with parents to see how well they understand basic legal rights. And of course certain students are fascinated by the law, and may simply choose to play it on their own aside from class requirements.

This is a free app. I encourage teachers to visit the parent site at

http://www.icivics.org/ for additional teaching ideas.

My Take

Pocket Law Firm is an iOS application for the iPad that places you as the head of a small group of attorneys who specialize in cases pertaining to violations of US constitutional rights. The more successful you and your partners are, the more cases you can take on and the more people you can help. An outgrowth of iCivics, a service founded by former Supreme Court Justice Sanda Day O'Connor, Pocket Law Firm is an engaging (if contrived) game that helps students understand the orignal Bill of Rights and its subsequent amendments. As head of the firm, you must listen to the complaints of those who enter the office and determine (1) if its a legitimate complaints and (2) if your attorneys have the needed expertise to help them. If it turns out you can help, you need to match them with the right attorney while at the same time making sure that everyone who enters the office is greeted promptly and dealt with accordingly. As your firm wins cases, it gains "prestige points" which allows you to hire more attorneys, spiff-up the office, advertise, and take on more cases. Things get more and more interesting as the pace increases, your staff grows, and multiple cases may be in trial simultaneously.