University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation
Welcome to The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse Schoolhouse project. Through this website, students can access case documents that will allow them to see how civil rights litigation affects the lives of ordinary people and how such people have used the legal system to lay claim to constitutional and civil rights to equality, fairness, and liberty.
Equal Justice Under Law Image

Our intention is to grow our collection of unit plans, each being a collection of lessons and materials designed to introduce high school students to the concepts of civil rights litigation. These course materials are based on our structured database of civil rights case documents and analyses.

Our unit plans fall into one of the two categories below: "Civil Rights Concepts" and "Mock Trials/Arguments".

Civil Rights Concepts

Civil Rights Litigation: Purposes, Processes, and Promises

Unit Plan Overview
View Lessons
This unit introduces students to the concept of civil rights litigation, asking them to consider how the litigation process reflects some of the most fundamental values and principles of American constitutional government.

Mock Trials/Arguments

Prisoner Rights Mock Trial: Prison Legal News v. Columbia County

Unit Plan Overview
View Lessons
In this unit students participate in a trial; using real documents and evidence from a 2013 trial in federal court in Oregon, they will present evidence and argument about whether jail officials can limit inmates' written communication with a "postcard-only" policy, or whether the inmates' free speech rights require a policy that allows them to receive letters and news magazines. Each student is assigned a role: lawyer, witness, judge. The unit helps students to explore the following questions:

  • To what degree do our jails and prisons reflect the values and principles of American constitutional democracy?

  • How are incarcerated people‚Äôs rights protected and limited? How should they be?

Thanks for learning with us!
More unit plans coming soon...