To demystify the way courts work, a public education program that enlists practicing and retired lawyers and judges has debuted in Tennessee.
Allan Ramsaur, executive director of the Tennessee Bar Association, told the Nashville Ledger that people who understand the role of the legal system better, will also better understand its limitations.
“We had been hearing, and observing, that folks don’t seem to have a good sense of how the justice system works, and we think that if anyone could explain it, judges and lawyers would be the obvious choice,” Ramseur said.
The Tennessee Judicial Conference and Tennessee Bar created the program, called Gaining Access to Valuable Education about the Legal System, or GAVELS.
GAVELS volunteers address civic organizations and other interested groups. One of the speakers is Robert Murrian, a retired judge.
“When I was a student, I had a civics teacher and a government teacher who really set me on my course professionally,” Murrian said. “If representative democracy is to survive, I think the citizenry has to have some good understanding of where the power lies, and that’s with the people.”