The 3Rs: Rights ● Responsibilities ● Realities

The 3Rs celebrates its 10th anniversary this school year. In our first nine years, more than 1,900 lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals have made lasting and vital connections with nearly 30,000 students. We’ve collected awards for diversity and public outreach along the way, and our program is seen as a “best practice” model by bar associations and urban school districts throughout the nation.

This is all possible because of YOU!


The 3Rs is a landmark program connecting lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals with high school students in Cleveland and East Cleveland schools. Through a series of six in-person lessons during the regular school day, 3Rs volunteers help foster and understanding and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution, as well as share important information about how students can achieve their goals beyond high school. In The 3Rs+ program, volunteers have further opportunities to connect with students beyond The 3Rs through field trips, mentoring, career shadowing, and other unique community activities.

Using a unique, real-world curriculum provided by the CMBA, teams of volunteers from all areas of the legal community meet with students in the classroom to accomplish the following goals:

  • Improve understanding of and respect for the rule of law and our Constitution;
  • Improve passage of civics content testing required for graduation;
  • Provide practical career counseling to focus students on their potential beyond high school; and
  • Improve the “pipeline” of minorities flowing into legal careers in the region.


To join us or for more information, contact Jessica Paine or call (216) 539-5982.

More than ever, Cleveland and East Cleveland public school students need the personal involvement of the community to help the students maximize their potential both now and post-high school. The success of these students and the success of our region are mutually dependent. The Cleveland legal community is well-positioned to make a profound impact by volunteering to serve in the schools.


In response to the changing needs of our schools, The 3Rs has updated and evolved. Click here for a flyer outlining some of the changes made in 2015-16.

The 3Rs and 3Rs+ are programs of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, with funding support provided by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation. The Foundation offers a giving program for CMBA members, volunteers, and friends of the program to help us sustain The 3Rs through annual charitable gifts – Friends of The 3Rs. There are a variety of giving levels and all support is very much appreciated. The CMBF is a 501(c)(3) organization; gifts to it are tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

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What's New This Year? 

The 3Rs has moved from 10th grade American History classes to American Government classes for 11th graders. The change will help us keep pace with the statewide move from the Ohio Graduation Test to end-of-course subject matter exams required for graduation.

After working closely with educators in the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools, the 3Rs Oversight Committee developed a new curriculum to meet the needs of this year's unique group of students – many of whom had The 3Rs last year.  The new curriculum includes expanded lessons on career counseling, freedom of speech, checks and balances, how laws are interpreted, and a special lesson on police encounters, with plenty of current, interesting case examples. Lessons are still taught in the small group format to maximize personal connection and student engagement.   

Another new development this year is that some classes are being taught in a single semester, while others are year-long courses. We’ve adjusted the 3Rs calendar and schedule of visits to match, and created more flexibility in how many lessons are taught.

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