Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project Hosts William H. Karchmer Moot Court Competition


WASHINGTON, DC, November 10, 2010 – American University Washington College of Law is proud to announce the DC chapter of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project is hosting the William H. Karchmer Fall Moot Court Competition on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 9 AM until 5:30 PM.

In the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, law students are deployed to area public schools as teachers, educating high school students on their individual rights and other important lessons in constitutional law. 

Our law and high school students have prepared diligently for two months for this exciting and, for some, life-changing event, said Maryam Ahranjani, associate director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. “We are proud to host sixty-five public high school students from eleven comprehensive and charter schools across the city competing on this year’s case, about whether the First Amendment protects a young student council candidate’s choice to wear a tuxedo to school.”

In the fall of 1999, Professor Jamin Raskin of American University Washington College of Law launched the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project named in honor of the late United States Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan, Jr.  This project, founded with the enthusiastic support of Mrs. Cissy Marshall and the late Mrs. Mary Brennan, was designed to mobilize talented second- and third-year law students to teach courses on constitutional law and juvenile justice in public high schools in the District of Columbia and Maryland. The national program is headquartered at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., and the program has expanded to licensed chapters in law schools across the country.

The movement for constitutional literacy is rooted in the belief that students will profit for a lifetime from learning the system of rights and responsibilities under the U.S. Constitution. Many citizens do not participate in and feel disengaged from politics. The Marshall-Brennan Fellows work with teachers, administrators and lawyers to teach students their rights as citizens, the strategic benefits of voting, how lawmaking occurs and other fundamental constitutional processes.

The program is open to all upper-level law students through a competitive application process at Washington College of Law and Howard Law School. Although the time and emotional commitments are great, the benefits reaped from the program are enormous as law students become teachers and role models in the local community.

In addition to teaching, the Fellows take a year-long Advanced Constitutional Law seminar led by the program coordinators, Maryam Ahranjani and Stephen Wermiel. Classes feature guest speakers and contributions from Professor Jamin Raskin, the founder and director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. The Fellows learn classroom management techniques, pedagogical methods and master the "We the Students" and "Youth Justice" curricula.

For more information on the project, please go to

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American University Washington College of Law

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school’s nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit