Legal Studies Academy

The Legal Studies Academy provides students who have an interest in and curiosity about the law, law-related fields, and legal and ethical issues the opportunity to extend their knowledge beyond the typical high school program. The academy offers students the opportunity to embrace not only an academic curriculum that will prepare them for post-secondary education, but also will allow them career exploration within the area of legal studies. Courses of study are extended through law-related seminars and field trips. Students will experience many hands-on activities through criminal investigations, internships and mock trials in the Academy’s courtroom/classroom.

The academy curriculum promotes academic excellence through an emphasis on advanced analytical thinking, research, writing and oratory presentation to understand complex issues within the law and society. Curriculum alignment is achieved through a continued focus on understanding related to the social contract, as well as the continuous application of advanced reading, writing and analytical skills.

The four-year program builds upon core legal courses, enhancement of academy English, social studies and science classes, and sequenced advanced placement courses. In order to promote active learning and the importance of community involvement, all Legal Studies Academy students are required to participate in job shadowing, legal internships and community service.

The Academy Project

During the senior year, students complete a project that is a hands-on experience. The senior project consists of the following components; the initiation, implementation and completion of the project; a research paper describing the project; a portfolio; and an oral presentation of the project to a panel of community professionals prior to graduation.


Students will earn an Advanced Studies Diploma based on the options available in the various curricula. In addition, all students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement courses in art, English, foreign language, math, music, science and social studies. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in unique courses available only at the Legal Studies Academy such as: Forensic Science, Criminal Psychology, and Criminology.

All students receive instruction in the following:

  • Communication skills – emphasis on listening, reading, speaking, writing and thinking as they relate to law-related fields;
  • Basic concepts of the rule of law, principles of criminal law and law enforcement, constitutional law and the criminal justice system;
  • Science and technology as they relate to solving crime;

For detailed course descriptions and a sample student schedule, please refer to the Secondary School Curriculum Guide.

For additional information please call 757.648-5300 ext. 85326, or email Angelique Phillips at First Colonial High School.