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 10th grade 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.

Volunteer today!

The groundbreaking 3Rs program of the CMBA celebrates its 10th Anniversary this fall and YOU are invited to take part in this historic event!  The 3Rs has inspired more students, through the tireless efforts of more volunteers from our local legal community, for longer than any other community program in the CMBA’s storied history.  

Celebrating 10 years of positive impact in our community 

Since its kick-off in 2006, The 3Rs and 3Rs+ programs have reached over 25,000 students in the Cleveland and East Cleveland high schools, imparting information about the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law crucial to passing school achievement tests for graduation as well as helping prepare youths for their paths to success in higher education, careers, and beyond. Last year The 3Rs debuted a brand-new lesson on Police Encounters in response to movements nationwide to help keep children safe and better informed about their rights, responsibilities, and the realities of encounters with law enforcement day-to-day.  The Police Encounters lesson was welcomed and embraced by authorities within the schools, community at large, and by law-related groups statewide.

Over the years The 3Rs has earned acclaim from local and national groups, collecting awards for community service and diversity, and generating discussion about public outreach on a statewide and national level.  The 3Rs has been instrumental in significantly raising passage rates for the Social Studies component of the Ohio Graduation Test.  But more than that, The 3Rs and 3Rs+ have connected with young people in our community, helping them realize that they too have much to give back and achieve.  In the words of 3Rs students who have gone on to participate in mock trial, the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Summer Legal Academy, the Stokes Scholars program, and many more opportunities, The 3Rs inspired them to think ahead and to realize that their dreams are within their reach.

Will you join us in 2015-2016? 

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!

To volunteer or for more information, click here to email Jessica Paine or call (216) 696-3525.  More information also is available on the 3Rs Committee page.  

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.


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 March. 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 

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RETURNING VOLUNTEERS: Please update your instructor's guide to include the following materials, to replace the pages immediately preceding the first tab in your binder.  If your instructor's guide is older than the 2013-14 school year, please email Jessica Paine by clicking here to determine which section(s) you will need to print out for updates.

Full volunteer resources 2014-2015 

Student worksheets:

Teaching tips 

Videotaped 3Rs lessons (click to watch on YouTube): 

CLE Materials 

  • 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: 

2015-16 3Rs Lessons & Orientations Calendar - Coming soon

2014-2015 Orientations: 

PLEASE NOTE: All orientations that will be held at the CMBA offices will be at the CMBA's new location at One Cleveland Center, 1375 E. 9th St. on the second floor.  Other locations as listed. 

  • Oct. 8 (Noon-1:00 p.m.) - Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (1801 Euclid Ave., Moot Court Rm.)
  • Oct. 15 (Noon-1:00 p.m.) - Case Western Reserve University School of Law (11075 East Blvd., Room 157)
  • Oct. 16 (4:30-5:30 p.m.) - CMBA (One Cleveland Center - 1375 E. 9th St., 2nd Fl.)
  • Oct. 21 (Noon-1:00 p.m.) - Orientation to be followed by 1-hr. CLE on First Amendment basics and recent cases – FREE for 3Rs volunteers (1:30-2:30 p.m. at CMBA , One Cleveland Center - 1375 E. 9th St., 2nd Fl.)
  • Oct. 27 (Noon-1:00 p.m.) - Justice Center (1275 Ontario St., 12th Fl. Educational Center)
  • Oct. 28 (8:30-9:30 a.m.) - CMBA (One Cleveland Center - 1375 E. 9th St., 2nd Fl.)

2014-2015 Lessons: 

  • Nov. 7 - Lesson One (Introduction)
  • Dec. 12 - Lesson Two (Freedom of Expression and The Law and You handout)
  • Jan. 16 - Lesson Three Practical Counseling (Police Encounters - lesson plan for instructors available here; student worksheets here; The Law and You handout here)
  • Jan. 30 - Lesson Four (Search & Seizure)
  • Feb. 20 - Lesson Five (Equal Protection)
  • March - Break for Ohio Graduation Test 
  • April 10 - Lesson Six (Due Process)
  • May 1 - Career and Education Counseling (revised lesson plan to be provided)

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.

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