The New Jersey State Bar Foundation keeps kids informed on current events with The Legal Eagle and Respect.
The winter 2013 issue of The Legal Eagle will be published in January and feature articles on double jeopardy, eyewitness identification, prosecutorial misconduct and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding not sentencing juveniles who commit homicide to life in prison.
Since its inception in 1996, The Legal Eagle has produced articles on a variety of legal topics, such as copyright infringement, corporal punishment, censorship, First and Fourth Amendment issues and instant runoff voting, as well as such obscure topics as the Feres doctrine, sunken treasure in New Jersey, the implications of biotechnology and the legal issues surrounding dead celebrities and their estates.
Steven M. Richman, chair of the newspaper’s editorial board and the foundation’s second vice president, believes the publication, geared at students in grades five and up, “reaches students at the right age and instills in them a broader sense of what the legal system is about. The stories seek to provide a balanced, non-political view of current issues. That background and way of thinking goes a long way towards providing the proper foundation for understanding why the law works the way it does.”
Richman added, “Among the most rewarding activities of my bar service has been chairing the editorial board of The Legal Eagle.”

Taking on social issues

The winter 2013 issue of Respect will be published in February, containing articles on racism in soccer, the decision in the Tyson Foods case and an article on women’s issues, in time for Women’s History Month in March.
Respect, the foundation’s tolerance and diversity newsletter, is geared toward students in grades six and up, the stories in Respect are more complicated and focus on social issues with a tolerance or diversity-based slant.

“Social issues become legal issues because they are so critical in terms of how we define ourselves as a people living in a democratic society and necessarily fostering certain values in our young,” said Gwen Alexis, a foundation trustee who also serves as the editorial board chair of Respect. “It is the task of nurturing the next generation that is done so well by publications like Respect, which dare to take on the tough subjects, whether it be race-based college admissions or Arizona’s immigration law. And, it is this uncompromising boldness of Respect that gives me a sense of pride as well as feeling of excitement about my role as chair of its editorial board. It is wonderful to be part of something, albeit in the small way of a cog in a wheel.”