Founded in 2004, The Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice (SLJ) believes that the success of each student is a community responsibility. Staff, families and partners work together to challenge and support students with a curriculum that respects their right to learn at high levels and with enrichment services that every student deserves. SLJ delivers personal attention in an empowering environment that fosters intellectual independence and civic engagement. Equipped with an understanding of law and social justice, students graduate ready to succeed in college and effect change in society.
Based on the idea that law is a captivating lens for learning, and that the skills necessary to a legal professional are universal, we offer a rigorous academic program that engages students through issues of law and social justice.
Teachers plan collaboratively so that what students learn in one class is strongly reinforced by instruction in other classes. Work is project-based, challenging, and heavily infused with reading and writing. Evaluation methods are transparent so that students can track their own progress.
Because we are a small school, every student is known. Teachers are aware of every student's strengths and needs. Our belief in the importance of interpersonal relationships between students and staff is exemplified in our nationally recognized Advisory program, through which every teacher is a faculty advocate for no more than 18 students and is the liaison to those students' homes.
Additionally all teachers participate in Kid Talk, a weekly discussion in which two or three struggling students are discussed candidly and in depth so that the entire staff can intervene to give them the help they need.
At SLJ, we believe that school is not a rehearsal for life, it is life. Students need to understand the relevance of what they are learning—either because they see its value in their own lives, its utility in the professional world or, most abstractly, because they realize it is part of the process of "becoming successful". We have developed a number of community and corporate partnerships through which our students interact with the professional world and become aware of those vital connections.