Boy Scouts from our troop often earn the Law merit badge at a skill center at the historic Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis – a great venue to see how law has shaped our history. They even get to have a mock trial in one of the courtrooms.
Earning this merit badge enables a Scout to learn about the history and kinds of laws, the purpose and methods of law enforcement, consumer protection agencies, emerging law, and careers in the legal profession.
Law Merit Badge Requirements
- Define “law.” Tell some of its sources. Describe functions it serves.
- Discuss two of the following:
- Justinian’s Code, the Code of Hammurabi, and the Magna Carta
- The development of the jury system
- Two famous trials in history
- Tell what civil law is; tell what criminal law is. Tell the main differences between them. Give examples of each.
- Ask five people (not more than one from your immediate family) about the role of law enforcement officers in our society. Discuss their answers with them. Go to a law enforcement officer in your neighborhood and ask about his or her responsibilities and duties. Report your findings.
- Tell about several laws that were passed to protect the consumer and the seller. Tell about several organizations that provide help to consumers and sellers.
- Do ONE of the following:
- Attend a session of a civil or criminal court. Write 250 words or more on what you saw.
- Plan and conduct a mock trial with your troop or school class. After the trial is over, discuss it with the group.
- Arrange a visit with a lawyer who works for a business, bank, title company, or government agency. Find out his or her duties and responsibilities. Report what you have learned.
- Explain the requirements for becoming a lawyer in your state. Describe how judges are selected in your state.
- Make a list of 15 jobs that deal with some aspects of law or legal processes. Tell which you prefer. Why?
- Tell where people can go to obtain the help of a lawyer if they are unable to pay for one. Tell what you can do if you can afford a lawyer but do not know of any in your area.
- Discuss with your counselor the importance in our society of TWO of the following areas of law that have recently emerged and are still developing:
- Environmental law
- Computers and the Internet
- Copyright and the Internet
- Space travel and satellites orbiting Earth