CONNORVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — Wednesday morning, Buckeye Local High School became the center of Ohio’s legal world.
The Ohio Supreme Court paid a visit to their auditorium—and heard real ongoing cases in front of the students.
The Off-Site Court Program has been in place for 30 years, but never came to Jefferson County until Wednesday.
Groups of students listened to oral arguments in three different legal proceedings, before a question-and-answer portion with the justices and attorneys.
The lawyers who made it happen call the live hearings a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the Ohio Valley.
“The Supreme Court considers one lawyer for every 700 people to be the appropriate ratio. Here in Jefferson County, we have one lawyer for every 10,000 people. So certainly we are an underserved legal community.”Jeff Bruzzese, Attorney educator, Steubenville City Schools
“Many attorneys have not observed oral argument, the Supreme Court. And these students get to see this. So for them to see this, this is a really a direct participation in government.”Michelle Miller, Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas
Miller says she first wrote to the Supreme Court about making a trip here eight years ago.
She calls it an effort by Chief Justice Sharon Kennedy to inspire future legal minds in the state’s outlying counties.