Cissy Smith of Corpus Christi, a 12-year teacher at Baker Middle School, has been selected to attend the Fifth Annual Teachers’ Law School in Austin. Smith is one of 30 teachers whose applications were accepted to attend the three-day legal education program July 18-20 at the Texas Law Center near the State Capitol. Social studies and government teachers from across Texas sought entry into the program, which brings together more than a dozen of the state’s leading judges and lawyers who give presentations on aspects of civil and criminal legal systems at the state and federal levels.

Also known as TLS-Y5, the Teachers’ Law School-Year Five was piloted in Austin in 2009 and has become a national model for similar programs across the United States. TLS-Y5 faculty includes U.S. Appeals Court Judge Edward Prado, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, and nationally recognized defense attorney Gerald Goldstein. Past presenters include Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, and legendary criminal defense attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes.

Best of all, the program comes at no cost to the teachers. Food, lodging and travel are funded through scholarship donations from the American Board of Trial Advocates-Texas (TEX-ABOTA) and its Texas affiliates and the ABOTA Foundation.

“Texas is proud to be the birthplace for the Teachers’ Law School,” said Mary Dietz, president of TEX-ABOTA. “TLS has become one of ABOTA’s leading civics education programs and is now a model for our chapters around the country.”

The Teachers’ Law School is presented in collaboration with the State Bar of Texas and the State Bar’s Law Related Education Department.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. Learn more at texasbar.com.