The 3Rs: Rights ● Responsibilities ● Realities

Eleven years.  More than 30,000 students.  Over 2,000 volunteers.  More than 100,000 volunteer hours totaling $10 million in donated time.  This year The 3Rs kicks off its 12th year in the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools, and we have the entire legal community to thank for this monumental achievement, helping thousands of students learn about the law and plan for their future.

Our work is not yet done.  As incredible as volunteers’ efforts have been, each year we come close to meeting our goal of placing 3Rs volunteers in every single classroom but fall just short.  Last year just three classes – 75 young people – missed out on the benefits of legal leaders making a connection with them, teaching them about the law, and championing them as they prepare for life after high school.  We can do better, and we will with your help!

Together, we can make a major, positive change in the lives of all Cleveland and East Cleveland 11th grade students through the award-winning 3Rs program of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.  

This is all possible because of YOU!


The 3Rs is a landmark program connecting lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals with high school students in Cleveland and East Cleveland schools. Through a series of six in-person lessons during the regular school day, 3Rs volunteers help foster an understanding and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution, as well as share important information about how students can achieve their goals beyond high school. Volunteers are provided training and all lesson materials, plus support throughout the school year.  In The 3Rs+ program, volunteers have further opportunities to connect with students beyond The 3Rs through field trips, mentoring, career shadowing, and other unique community activities.

Using a unique, real-world curriculum provided by the CMBA, teams of volunteers from all areas of the legal community meet with students in the classroom to accomplish the following goals:

  • Improve understanding of and respect for the rule of law and our Constitution;
  • Improve passage of civics content testing required for graduation;
  • 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.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Jessica Paine or call (216) 539-5982.

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.

Celebrating The 3Rs!


The 3Rs and 3Rs+ are programs of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, with funding support provided by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation. The Foundation offers 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.

Donate Now

Where Are We This Year? 

Two years ago, The 3Rs moved from 10th grade American History classes to U.S. Government classes for 11th graders. 3Rs lessons will again be taught in 11th grade U.S. Government classes in 2017-18. 

Working closely with educators in the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools and with YOU, our volunteers, the 3Rs Oversight Committee continues to refine and develop the 3Rs curriculum to best reflect the students' needs.  This year's curriculum will remain substantially similar to last year's (including 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 are still taught in the small group format to maximize personal connection and student engagement.  We are also still dedicated to maintaining flexibility in how and when lessons are taught by allowing volunteers to visit their classes on their schedules and providing more teaching options within each lesson.

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