The 3Rs – Rights ● Responsibilities ● Realities is an unprecedented program of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association undertaken by members of the Cleveland legal community, in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and East Cleveland City Schools to personally connect with high school students to address fundamental issues facing the students and, ultimately, our city and region. Using a real-world curriculum focused on the U.S. Constitution, The 3Rs Program calls upon teams of volunteers to go to high school social studies classes to work with small groups of students to accomplish the following goals:

  • Improve understanding of and respect for the rule of law and our Constitution;
  • Improve passage of graduation preparedness testing;
  • Provide practical career counseling to focus students on their potential beyond high school; and
  • Improve the “pipeline” of minorities flowing into legal careers in the region.

(Click here to watch an introductory video to The 3Rs - Now updated with Cleveland's own LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers!)

More than ever, Cleveland and East Cleveland public school students need the personal involvement of the community to help the students maximize their potential both now and post-high school. The success of these students and the success of our region are mutually dependent. The Cleveland legal community is well-positioned to make a profound impact by volunteering to serve in the schools.

As the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools transition to new methods of graduation preparedness testing and new challenges this school year, The 3Rs needs you and other dedicated, inspired volunteers more than ever.  The time commitment is minimal (six lessons total throughout the school year), the potential impact is infinite.  Take the time today to commit to changing lives.  Let’s celebrate the role of lawyers giving back this year, and for many more anniversaries to come!

For more information, click here to email Jessica Paine or call (216) 696-3525.  More information also is available on the 3Rs Committee page.  For a flyer with more information about the changes implemented in 2015-16, click here.

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The NEW 2015-16 Instructors Guide can be downloaded here.  For a Volunteer Overview, with orientation information and NEW information for returning volunteers, please click here. 

Exciting changes in 2015-16 

The 3Rs has moved from 10th grade American History classes to American Government classes for 11th graders.  The change will help us keep pace with the statewide move from the Ohio Graduation Test to new pre-graduation exams.  

After working closely with the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools, the 3Rs review committee developed a new curriculum to meet the needs of this unique group of students – many of whom had The 3Rs last year, giving us a special opportunity to connect and educate while still helping them prepare for their end-of-course exams.  The new curriculum will include expanded lessons on career counseling, freedom of speech, checks and balances, how laws are interpreted, and a special lesson on police encounters, with plenty of current, interesting case examples.  Lessons will still be taught in the small group format to really make an impact.  Coming soon: watch The 3Rs website at www.clemetrobar.org/3Rs for a video about the changes.

Another important twist this year is that some classes will be taught in a single semester, while others are year-long courses.  We’ve adjusted the 3Rs calendar and schedule of visits to match, and created more flexibility in how many lessons we’ll teach.

Happy birthday to us! 

3Rs CakeThe 3Rs celebrates its 10th anniversary this year!  In our first nine years of The 3Rs, over 1,900 lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals have made lasting and vital connections with nearly 30,000 students.  We’ve collected awards for diversity and public outreach along the way, and our program is seen as a “best practice” model by bar associations and urban school districts throughout the nation.  This is all possible because of YOU!

volunteer resources 2015-2016

  • 2015-16 Volunteer Instructors Guide - click here for a downloadable PDF of the NEW 3Rs curriculum for volunteers. 
  • For a Volunteer Overview (including orientation information and NEW information for returning volunteers), please click here.  
  • "The Law & You" - Police Encounters handout (credit: NAACP, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and Allstate Insurance Company)

Student worksheets - Click on lesson name for printable PDF file  

Lesson videos - A series of brief videos outline the changes made in 2015-16 and give volunteers helpful classroom advice 

Teaching Tips - Archived emails sent to volunteers before each lesson 

CLE Materials 

  • “The Fourth Amendment: Constitutional Issues in Police Encounters” - Materials - Presented Sept. 18, 2015 by Erika Cunliffe (Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office, Appellate Division) and David M. Kinq (Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office, Municipal Division). 
  • "First Amendment Update: Recent Developments Under the Speech and Religion Clauses" - PowerPoint materials - Presented Oct. 21, 2014 by Prof. Kevin F. O’Neill of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • "Introduction to Equal Protection"  - Materials and PowerPoint - Presented Oct. 24, 2013 by Prof. Wilson Huhn of the University of Akron
  •  Due Process CLE Materials - Presented Oct. 23, 2012 by David King, Paul Kuzmins, and Cullen Sweeney of the Cuyahoga County Public Defenders Office
  • Equal Protection CLE Materials - Presented Oct. 25, 2011 by Prof. Wilson Huhn of the University of Akron

Outside resources: 


Below please find the official calendar of 3Rs visits for the 2015-16 school year in Cleveland and East Cleveland schools.  As always, teams that are unable to attend a lesson on a scheduled date may arrange an alternate date to visit by working with their team captains and teachers.

Lessons (full year): 

  • Oct. 9 – Lesson One: Introduction to 3Rs
  • Nov. 13 – Lesson Two: You and the Law – Intro (Casey’s Day)
  • Dec. 11 – Lesson Three: No Vehicles in the Park (Judicial Branch)
  • Jan.  15 – Lesson Four: Freedom of Expression
  • NEW DATE: Feb.  26 – Lesson Five: Police Encounters (originally Feb. 12) 
  • Break for OGT testing in March (March 14-25)  
  • April  15 – Lesson Six: Counseling (optional)

Lessons (for teams teaching spring semester only): 

  • Jan.  15 – Lesson One: Introduction to 3Rs
  • Jan. 29 – Lesson Two: You and the Law – Intro (Casey’s Day)
  • Feb.  12 – Lesson Three: No Vehicles in the Park (Judicial Branch)
  • Feb.  26 – Lesson Four: Freedom of Expression
  • April 15 – Lesson Five: Police Encounters
  • Break for OGT testing in March (March 14-25)  
  • May 6 – Lesson Six: Counseling (optional)  


The 3Rs+ 
The 3Rs+ program is designed to further the work of The 3Rs by connecting to students in the 11th and 12th grade who desire to work with mentors, for assistance with college application preparation and financial aid planning as well as to broaden their horizons.  Launched in the 2011-2012 school year, The 3Rs+ is a partnership program of the CMBA with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Shaw High School in East Cleveland, and the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland.

3Rs+ volunteers are needed to provide the following: 

  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Career shadowing experiences
  • Assistance developing field trips to courts, firms, other areas of business
  • Serving as a speaker for educational programs for students and/or parents

The 3Rs+ is open to all members of the legal community, including both those who have volunteered with The 3Rs and those who have not yet had the opportunity.  Time commitment is based on volunteer availability and interest.  For more information about The 3Rs+, please email Jessica Paine at jpaine@clemetrobar.org.

More volunteer opportunities with College Now:  

In partnership with College Now Greater Cleveland (CNGC), The 3Rs and the CMBA encourage you to volunteer become a volunteer mentor.  The CNGC Mentor Program pairs professionals in the community with freshmen scholarship recipients from low-income backgrounds, helping them navigate their path to successful graduation.  Mentors communication over an online platform twice monthly and meet with students in person at least three time per year.  Become a mentor, change a life!  For more information, click here or contact Madeline Rife, Mentoring Program Manager, at mrife@collegenowgc.org.

Your Rights and the U.S. Constitution 

Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) 

Higher Education (Planning, Scholarships, and Financial Aid) 

Career Planning  



Games - Test your skills and build your knowledge of the law, the Constitution, and the government

The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation provides primary funding for The 3Rs, with the majority of funds raised through the annual Rock the Foundation Gala in February. The Foundation has also launched a giving program for CMBA members, volunteers and friends of the program to help us sustain The 3Rs through annual charitable gifts – Friends of The 3Rs.  There are a variety of giving levels and all support is very much appreciated. The CMBF is a 501(c)(3) organization; gifts to it are tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.  To donate to the Friends of The 3Rs please click here