Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.


Learning Center For the Kids (and Kids at Heart)

The interactive computerized exhibits include playing judge or juror and hearing from judges about their experiences on the bench.


Summer 2013

Entering the expansive atrium of the new Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center, you could easily miss a small gem tucked in the corner. But that would be a mistake. In a grand courthouse filled with beautiful art and architecture, the coolest part might just be the learning center.

Inside the room located on the ground floor of the courthouse, children (and lawyers with a child-like awe for the justice system) can play with interactive educational exhibits about the role of the judiciary.

Visitors can view a short film in an ultra-wide-screen theater demonstrating how America’s laws guarantee our freedom and what life would be like without those rules. (The movie includes some choice clips from Animal House and My Cousin Vinny.) There’s also a kiosk allowing visitors to listen and watch judges talk about their experiences. Judge Terry Fox of the Colorado Court of Appeals offers a particularly inspirational tale of her journey from immigrating to the country as a child to discovering a joy of the law.

Visitors also can act as a judge in a simulated case by hearing evidence and deciding the outcome. And they can experience what it’s like to serve as an attorney or juror. The outer wall is ringed with a visual timeline of the state’s judicial milestones.

It’s important, said Justice Gregory Hobbs, to illustrate the link between history and the law. “Everything we do in law reflects the rules and customs of the people,” he said. “The course of justice is the great cause of humanity.”

The center was planned from the early stages of the courthouse construction process. Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender appointed a committee to develop concepts. Those committee members — Colorado Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janice Davidson and Supreme Court justices Hobbs, Nancy Rice and Monica Márquez — along with staff members spent a year designing the presentations.

The result of that work is seen clearly in the center. As Chief Justice Bender put it during the building’s grand opening, the edifice is not just a modern courthouse but also a “museum to the rule of law.”

The learning center is free to the public and open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

James Carlson is the Information Resources Coordinator with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.