Knight Fdn First Amendment bullhorn cropped

This week, let’s hear what people are thinking. In the next three days’ posts, I’ll share data from recent surveys.

The first comes to us from the Knight Foundation, which sponsored a survey of young people on their views regarding the First Amendment. Happily, they are generally supportive of the basic right (thank goodness for small wonders). In fact, they may be more supportive of it than are adults.

That is actually a reversal of views that have been expressed over the past decade. The Knight folks optimistically indicate that “increased digital news consumption and classroom teaching are driving the change.” The national study of 10,463 high school students and 588 teachers was released last month, on Constitution Day.

The Knight folks continue:

“[The survey] found only 24 percent of students said that the First Amendment goes too far in guaranteeing the rights of religion, speech, press assembly and petition. In comparison, a Newseum Institute survey that tracks adult opinions on the first amendment showed that 38 percent of adults feel this way. This marks a shift: 10 years ago students (35 percent) were more likely than adults (30 percent) to say that the First Amendment goes too far.”

The report also provides great insight into impressions of privacy and surveillance.

Below is an infographic based on the report. And the whole report is available for downloading here.

Knight Fdn First Amendment infographic

At first glance, “law” and “camp” appear to be an odd couple. But the State Bar of Arizona has combined them into what promises to be a cool event this Friday.

At the 2012 Summer Law Camp, about 60 high school students will explore the law and possible legal careers. It is designed to expose high school students to the law in a fun and interactive way.

The Law Camp will be staged in two places—Phoenix and Tucson. The first event will be in Phoenix this Friday, June 15, at the Phoenix School of Law. (More on the June 28 Tucson event later.)

Organizing the Law Camp is the Bar’s Diversity & Outreach Advisor, Elena Nethers.

To guide the students, a large number of Arizona lawyers signed on to donate their time. I’ll provide a list of the generous lawyers when it becomes available.

Here are some of the activities planned for the day:

  • Should It Be a Crime?
  • Identifying and debating laws that are relevant to youth (curfews, uniform, school searching lockers etc.)
  • What students can do now to prepare for college
  • An attorney panel discussing their background and why they chose a career in law
  • The ever-popular mock trial exercise 

If you or anyone you know is participating as a volunteer lawyer at this event, I’d love to hear your thoughts after Friday’s Law Camp. And congratulations on your decision to contribute.