Celebrate the Remarkable 50-Year Journey of LEAP

The mission of the Law, Education and Participation Project of the Temple University School of Law  (Temple-LEAP) is to educate non-lawyers, particularly K-12 students from Philadelphia area schools, about the law and citizenship.

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LEAP Will Celebrate its 50th Years June 20, 2024

The mission of the Law, Education and Participation Project of the Temple University School of Law  (Temple-LEAP) is to educate non-lawyers, particularly K-12 students from Philadelphia area schools, about the law and citizenship. Started in 1974, LEAP reaches these goals by teaching about principles of democracy while developing critical reading, writing and thinking skills. 

LEAP will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.  Please register to attend the event that will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at the Inn at the edge of the Swarthmore College campus.

You can register, advertise in the program, and contribute to the event here
We hope you can come June 20th!
Reception with heavy appetizers and limited remarks, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Past LEAP Executive Directors Beth Farnbach, David Keller Trevaskis and Roberta West are all scheduled to attend.
Swarthmore is the location in honor of John S. Bradway, whose fund supports the ongoing LEAP activities of running the Philadelphia High School mock trial competition named in his honor.  Read about Bradway, who was born and raised in Swarthmore, here.
Funds raised in excess of the cost of the event will be donated to the Cahn Collaborative in honor of the greatest poverty lawyer of the past 6o years, Edgar Cahn, whose work on youth courts inspires the continuation of youth court programs started by Temple-LEAP in the last century.  Cahn was a graduate of Swarthmore College (and Farnbach and Trevaskis lived there), adding another connection to the event's location.

LEAP 2024 is Almost Here!








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PA Mock Trial Team Is National Champion

LEAP has always championed mock trial in Philadelphia, with Central High School winning the first citywide competition among a handful
of schools (circa 1981).

The mock trial program was the brainchild of then LEAP Executive Director Beth Farnbach. By 1984, Beth was working with Camille Kostelac Cherry, then of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, to create a statewide competition that today involves hundreds of teams and thousands of students.

LEAP provided the problems for the state competition through the 2007 competition when a night law student named Jon Grode drafted that year's materials for then LEAP Executive Director Roberta West. Grode has been involved in every problem since and look where things have gone...

LEAP and Polaroid, Interesting Introductory Activities

LEAP always did interesting introductory activities and Polaroid made a ton of money off the pictures that seemed to always be taken as part of the fun. These two program sheets from the 1990s show then law students Matt Weintraub and Gino Campbell, now newly elected Bucks County Judge Weintraub after serving as Disttict Attorney there and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Campbell...

The Little Book of Listening

The Little Book of ListeningSharon Browning, one of the first three law students at Temple-LEAP (the other two were Debbie Kroll, the now retired champion of elder law who would run the Elder Law Project at the Temple University School of Law for nearly 40 years, and Gwen Bright, a judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania who was first elected to the court in 1995), has been a longtime public interest lawyer in Philadelphia and beyond.  Her Just Listening program is celebrating this great "little book."

1998 Carver High School’s Run Through the Philadelphia Competition

News article discusses the 1998 Carver High School's run through the Philadelphia competition to runner-up at states that year. If you know the status of any of the students mentioned in the article, please share with us.

Download (PDF, 709KB)

The 1989 picture of Judge Green talking with the late President of Temple University, then law professor Joanne Epps, showcases current Magisterial District Court Judge Juanita Price talking to current Long Island, NY educator Dorian Sequre (back then, Juanita was a young lawyer who had just had her first child, the wonderfully talented Georgetown Law Institue for Technology, Law & Policy Academic Program Director Mary Patricia Dwyer—known forever to David Keller Trevaskis as "My Job"--and Dorian was working as a Philadelphia City Solicitor).

The next picture shows Juanita Price as part of the Pennsylvania Law-Related Education team at a national conference during the 1987 Bicentennial of the Constitution (look for our nation's 250th anniversary in 2026 which takes us back to the signing of the Declaration of Independence!), Juanita is third in on the left side of the picture with educators Lillian DeLeo (far left), then Intermediate 29 Social Studies Coordinator, Kimberly Morgan Shope, then a social studies teacher at Altoona Area High School. On the right side of the picture, far right, is the late Al Cunningham, then LEAP's Program Manager, with Beth Farnbach third in on the right. A former Philadelphia School District teacher, Al would leave Temple University with his doctorate to pair with his earlier earned law degree and hold assistant principal and principal positions in Kutztown Area School District, a stint as assistant Superintendent in Twin Valley and then he served as Superintendent of the Montoursville Area School District.
Chief Justice Warren Burger, having recently retired from the Supreme Court, holds the middle spot. Anyone recognize the others in the picture?

The last picture (I have one regular shot and an enlarged one) shows the LEAP Statewide Training Team at Sugarloaf in Philadelphia circa 1991. Lots of folks to see here—how many do you recognize? ​On the far right, in front, is current Monroe County Commissioner Sharon Laverdure. She is the former superintendent of the East Stroudsburg Area School District. After a 43-year career in education she retired from the School District in 2016. Sharon began her career as an elementary school teacher and coach before becoming principal, the roles she served when this picture was taken. Beth Farnbach is next to Sharon, with Lillian DeLeo next to her and then LEAP Education Director Roberta West holds the fourth spot in on the right front. Right behind Roberta is Al Liebowitz, then a teacher at Parkway before ending his career with the School District of Philadelphia as principal of his alma mater, George Washington High School. On the far left side is Street Law author Lee Arbetman, with then Abington Junior High teacher Jim Gavaghan next on the back row, with Bob Catina, David Keller Trevaskis (Eric Schneider of Pleasant Valley is diagonally to his right), Cardinal Dougherty teacher and mock trial coach Peggy Recupido working their way left to right before the shot of a smiling School District of Philadelphia administrator Barbara Moses in the sixth position of the back row. Robert Allekotte from James Martin/A.M.Y. 5 is to Barb's right. Diagonally to the right in front of Robert is Kimberly Morgan Shope. At the far right of the back row is Dorian Sequre with James Haffey one person over to his left. Debbie Blumberg Drossner, then an elementary educator who would finish her career with the School District of Philadelphia as a principal, stands in front of Catina with longtime New Jersey Juvenile Justice educator Sonnie DeCencio to her left. Bristol Borough gifted educator Phyllis Girard is in the center front.