Law




Students have ample opportunities to pursue fields of interest under the Northwest High Magnet law strand.  Courses engage students in realistic studies and hands-on field experience that provide essential exposure to constructing a framework of legal knowledge.  Northwest is the only high school in the metro area with an official courtroom integrated into the classroom setting where students can practice the art of jurisprudence. 


The mission of Omaha Northwest High School, a community of learners, is to provide educational opportunities which enable ALL students to achieve and lead in academic success.

8204 Crown Point Ave - Omaha, NE 68134

(531) 299-2740 FAX- (531) 299-2779


CSI Class



Justice Clarence Thomas Visits Northwest Magnet



Our Mock Trial Team 2012


Crime Scene Processing

Course Sequence

Grade 9
Intro to Law, Gov't, and International Diplomacy
World Language

Grade 10
AP Human Geography
Intro to Law
Law, Public Safety & Security
Trial Practice and Advocacy
Honors Forensic Science
History of Law & the Constitution
Speech & Debate

Grade 11
The Constitution
Intro to Criminal Justice
Evidence
Fire Chemistry
Forensic Science 3-4
History of American Civil Rights Movement & Laws
Police & Society

Grade 12
AP US History
AP US Government & Politics 
Social Justice Service Learning
Legal Research & Writing

Course Descriptions

INTRODUCTION TO LAW, GOVERNMENT, AND INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY
In this magnet introductory course, freshmen will explore the areas of law, government, and international diplomacy. This course is a survey-style course where students gain introductory knowledge of the magnet themes.


SPEECH

This is a one semester course that focuses on acquainting students with the communication process.  The course works on developing and improving students’ public speaking skills and oral interpretations skills through instruction that focuses on the fundamentals of speech.  Students will be required to perform various speaking activities during the class.

DEBATE

This one semester course focuses on the fundamentals of debate.  Students will research on debate topics; will learn about Lincoln/Douglas debating, Public Forum debating and Congressional debating forms.

TRIAL PRACTICE & ADVOCACY
Trial Practice & Advocacy examines the differences between bench and jury trials, the trial process, and the respective roles of the attorney and paralegal in the trial preparation processes.

LAW, PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY
This course will explore the five pathways of law: public safety and security, correction services, emergency/fire, security and protective services, and law enforcement/legal services. The course will also include an overview of the legal system, the history and origins of our legal system, and the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the law.

INTRODUCTION TO LAW
This course includes an overview of the fields of law and their history, the areas of law applicable to the legal assistant, basic legal principles, legal terminology, the judicial system, legislation, criminal law, civil procedures and the elements of a trial.  Metro Community College dual credit is available. 

INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE
This course is an overview of the history, development and philosophies of crime control within a democratic society.   It examines the criminal justice system with an emphasis on the police, the prosecution and the defense, the courts and the correctional agencies.  Metro Community College dual credit is available.

POLICE AND SOCIETY
This course examines the role of the police in relationship to law enforcement and American society. Topics include the role and function of police, the nature of police organizations and police work and the patterns of police-community relations.  Metro Community College dual credit is available. 

THE CONSTITUTION
This course focuses on some of the great issues that confront policy makers and citizens of the United States.  The framework for study is the United States Constitution.  Topics covered include:  Executive Privilege/Delegation of Powers, War Powers and Covert Action, Nomination, Election, and Succession of the President, Criminal Justice and a Defendant’s Right to a Fair Trial, Crime and Insanity, Crime and Punishments, Campaign Spending, National Security and Freedom of the Press, School Prayer, Gun Control, Right to Assemble, Right to Live, Right to Die, Immigration Reform, Affirmative Action and Federalism.  Metro Community College dual credit is available.

FIRE CHEMISTRY
The objective of the course is to provide an introduction to the chemistry of fires with emphasis on chemical reactions. Included are the reactions and agents that produce and suppress fires.

THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT & CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS
This course will introduce students to the Civil Rights movement in the United States, including legislation, Supreme Court cases and organized efforts to abolish public and private acts of discrimination.  Coursework will include study of the abolitionist movement, the Dred Scott case, and the unresolved issues of the Reconstruction era.  Students will also study the system of Jim Crow, disenfranchisement, and second class citizenship that degraded the citizenship rights of African Americans.  Further, students will study the amendments to the Constitution, the legislation, and the Civil Rights cases that have impacted race relations in the United States.

THE HISTORY OF LAW AND CONSTITUTIONALISM
This course will introduce students to the history of law and Western constitutionalism. Coursework will include study of the ancient law codes, including the Code of Hammurabi, Hebraic law, the law givers of Athens and Sparta and the history of Roman law.  Students will also study the elements and philosophies of the Western Tradition that have led to democracy, individual freedom and  free market capitalism that have become the basis for the United States’ constitutional republic.

EVIDENCE
This is a comprehensive course covering the rules governing the introduction, collection, and presentation of evidence in judicial proceedings. Attention is focused on the Nebraska Evidence Rules, and the general principles of the common law of evidence.  Areas of Concentration: Evidence Collection, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure.

SOCIAL JUSTICE SERVICE LEARNING
Social Justice Service Learning is a course designed to engage students in addressing the needs of local and/or international society.  The course is designed to provide students with creative control over what social need they want to address as well as the manner in which they wish to address it.  Students will participate in an organized service activity and reflect on that activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of the needs found in local and/or international society.  Service learning provides the students with opportunities to develop and apply a wide range of skills (personal, academic, and intellectual) they will need to succeed in the school, in the community, and in the workplace. Legal Research and WritingStudents will analyze judicial opinions; apply legal concepts and rules; learn the techniques of writing memoranda and briefs; and learn oral advocacy skills. Students will also complete written assignments involving independent research and writing and participate in an oral advocacy exercise. The fundamentals of identifying, understanding, and formulating issues for analysis will be covered as well.

HONORS FORENSIC SCIENCE
This course will integrate science, mathematics, law and writing skills by using real-life applications and case studies to analyze crime scene evidence.  Topics covered will include:  the collection, handling and examination of trace evidence such as hair, fibers, soil and pollen; fingerprint and blood typing.

FORENSIC SCIENCE 3-4
Forensic science is the application of logic, basic biological, chemical and physical science principles and technological practices to the purposes of justice in the study of criminal and civil law. Major themes of study in this course are:  evidence collection, physical evidence, toxicology, DNA, trace evidence, advanced ballistics, questioned documents, and advanced bloodstain pattern analysis.  The students will process a mock crime scene as a major portion of the class.  In a world with a rising concern over crime levels (despite the fact that crime rates are declining), it is important that our students appreciate the role that forensics plays in modern criminal court cases.  As American citizens, our students will be called upon to fulfill their civic duty as jurors.  It is therefore crucial that our students be informed as to the nature of criminal investigations, and their role in the courts.

FORENSIC SCIENCE 5-6
Forensic science is the application of logic, basic biological, chemical and physical science principles and technological practices to the purposes of justice in the study of criminal and civil law. Major themes of study in this course are:  forensic psychology, serial killers, sexual assault crimes, cold cases, criminal profiling and other special topics.  The students will work actual cold cases from the areas of Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Kansas. In a world with a rising concern over crime levels (despite the fact that crime rates are declining), it is important that students appreciate the role that forensics plays in modern criminal court cases.  As American citizens, students will be called upon to fulfill their civic duty as jurors.  It is therefore crucial that students be informed as to the nature of criminal investigations, and their role in the courts.

Career Options

Animal Control Officer
CIA Agent
Corrections Officer
Criminal Investigator
Emergency Manager
FBI Agent
Forensic Specialist
Judge
Lawyer
Legal Assistant
Paralegal
Police Officer
Probation Officer

Associated School Activities

Boys & Girls State
Debate Team
Drivers Education
Explorer Posts
JROTC
Mock Trial Team
Student Council
Athletics