Scott Chinn of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP will judge the national finals of the We the People competition taking place in Washington, D.C. on April 27-May 1, 2012. His participation continues the firm's historical commitment to We the People and civic education.
We the People tests high school students' understanding of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights through a simulated congressional hearing. Student teams testify as constitutional experts before panels of judges acting as congressional committees, giving them opportunities to evaluate, take and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary constitutional issues.
"This is a fantastic program that increases the constitutional literacy of the next generation," said Chinn, a partner who focuses on public sector issues at Faegre Baker Daniels. "High school students are our next generation of civic leaders, and it's vital that they be prepared to take on that responsibility. That's why Faegre Baker Daniels has supported We the People for the past five years."
More than 1,300 students and teachers from across the U.S. will participate in the three-day national finals, held on the campus of George Mason University and in U.S. House of Representatives hearing rooms on Capitol Hill. Teams qualify for the national event by finishing first in their respective states or by earning a wild card spot. The 2012 competition marks the 25th anniversary of the national finals.
Seventy-two distinguished attorneys, law professors, judges, historians, legislators, policy experts and scholars were selected from across the country to judge the national finals. Chinn, who is president of the Indianapolis Bar Association in 2012, credited the Indiana Bar Foundation for its leadership in civic education and for providing opportunities for Faegre Baker Daniels to be involved in We the People, including his invitation to be a national finals judge.
Each spring since 2008, Faegre Baker Daniels has hosted a day-long dress rehearsal of the simulated congressional hearings for Indiana's We the People champions in the firm's downtown Indianapolis office. The Indiana team practices oral arguments in front of the firm's attorneys and other experienced We the People judges in preparation for the national competition. The 2012 Indiana champions from Munster High School visited Faegre Baker Daniels for their practice session on April 4, 2012.
Several attorneys from Faegre Baker Daniels, including Chinn and attorneys who are themselves alumni of We the People, serve as judges for the program's competitions throughout Indiana.