VIERA—The Space Coast Law School invites all members of the public to join its free legal seminar starting on Jan. 21.
Running for 10 consecutive Thursdays, the seminar will cover topics such as Constitutional rights, workers’ compensation laws, legal activism and juvenile law. A mock trial is planned for the last session on March 24.
The goal of the seminar is to spark community engagement, education and conversation surrounding the law, whether individuals have specific legal concerns or just wish to explore their interest in the legal system.
“Every person that lives a regular life, going to work, driving a car, working, renting, business owners, actually everyone benefits,” Brigitta Hawson, founder of the Space Coast Law School and an attorney at Telfer, Faherty, Anderson & Hawkins, recently told the Florida Record.
Hawkins founded the seminar program in 2010 with the goal of expanding legal education for members of the public. She said that registration for the program has increased for 2016.
“Currently we have at least 60 participants signed up," Hawkins said. "In the past, we had between 30 and 40 participants on average."
The Space Coast Law School is a project of the Brevard Bar Foundation, and works to integrate every aspect of the law and how it operates in the community, encouraging participants to learn from every perspective. The foundation brings in local attorneys and judges to present the information in an informal setting. The foundation's leadership hopes to spark legal interest, as well as discussion for legal professionals and for individuals whose only legal background is CSI: Miami.
The biggest sponsor of the program is Hawkins’ own firm, Telfer, Faherty, Anderson & Hawkins. The presenters work pro bono, and all efforts push toward the goal of educating the community. In her own professional experience, Hawkins sees a great need for education in Viera, which is what prompted her to start the program six years ago.
“There was a need to recognize when and how the law affects different aspects of our daily life," Hawkins said. "Clients came to me seeking representation only AFTER attending court. When the client seeks representation not at the beginning but only after the case has moved through the system for a while, an attorney can only do 'damage control' in some cases. It was my intention to make the public aware of the legal issues that we all encounter frequently."
The benefits of the Space Coast Law School stand to be invaluable to attendees and the organizers who look forward to this year's offerings.
“I very much appreciate seeing participants enjoy the seminars and start thinking about the law,” Hawkins said.
The seminar will begin at 6 p.m. Jan. 21 inside the Jury Assembly Room at the Moore Justice Center. Preregistration is encouraged as space for the seminar is limited.