The Arkansas Judicial Branch partners with teachers, community groups, and others to foster public understanding of the court system’s role in our government. According to the 2018 civics knowledge survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, only 32 percent of adults can name all three branches of government. However, we can all work together to change that.
Guided Group Tours
We invite school and community groups to tour the Justice Building in Little Rock and speak with a justice or judge. Guided tours typically take 30-45 minutes and must be pre-scheduled.
To arrange a visit, contact the Public Education Coordinator, Karen Steward, by calling 501-410-1935. Or, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A guided group tour can be paired with watching oral argument in the courtroom. Seeing court proceedings first-hand can give additional insight into how the justice system works.
Oral argument takes place on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. (Arkansas Court of Appeals) and Thursday at 10 a.m. (Arkansas Supreme Court) while the court is in session, which is typically from the first week of September until the first week of July. The proceeding lasts about 45 minutes.
We can provide you with information on the case that will be heard, including the attorney briefs. We recommend taking the time to read through the case so you know what is happening during oral argument.
Oral argument is not the same as a trial. There is no jury, there are no witnesses, and no evidence will be presented. Rather, you will observe attorneys from each side make their case directly to the judges. It is a very interactive process, and the judges will ask the attorneys many questions about the case. Twenty minutes is allotted to each party. The party bringing the appeal typically speaks for 15 minutes and reserves five minutes for rebuttal.
Members of the public are welcome to view public areas of the Justice Building on a self-guided tour. The building is open on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (excluding state holidays).
Brochures with information about the Justice Building can be found in the lobby.
The Civics Corner is open to children of all ages and features interactive games, books, and puzzles to engage students in civic learning. The materials cover concepts such as due process, the rule of law, trial by jury, and judicial independence.
The modular furniture is easy to move around and allows children to form their own collaborative space.
Events and Partnerships
We invite your ideas for collaborating on civics education projects and events. Please send suggestions to email@example.com or call 501-410-1935. We are always looking for new ways to reach people of all ages.
Courts and Community Initiative
We can help connect you with a local judge to come speak to your class or community group. Please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-410-1935.
Appeals on Wheels
Appeals on Wheels is an Arkansas Supreme Court outreach program designed to educate students about how the court system functions. Twice a year, the Court travels to a different part of the state to hold oral argument in a real-life case, typically at a high school or college. Students from the area and other members of the community are invited to attend.
Justices meet with students afterward for a question-and-answer session and to talk about the roles and responsibilities of judges.
If your local community would like to invite the Arkansas Supreme Court to hold oral argument in your part of the state, e-mail email@example.com or call 501-410-1935.