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Education

  • Current Tour Schedule
  • How Do I Schedule a Tour?
  • Types of Tours & Programs
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  • What Will I See?
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    Tour Questions? call 850.921.9446


    Students during Mock Oral Argument
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    THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT
    EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS & TOURS

    NOTE:

    The Florida Supreme Court reserves the right change the type of tour requested based on scheduling conflicts, staffing constraints or changes in the nature of the tour.

    The Florida Supreme Court reserves the right to cancel any tours that conflict with its normal operation of business.

    The Florida Supreme Court offers tours and educational programs to student groups from the 4th grade through 12th grade and to citizen groups of all ages. The Mock Oral Argument and our Educational Program are both exciting experiences. Each depends on the size of the group and the amount of time that can be spent at the courthouse.

    The JOURNEY THROUGH JUSTICE program compliments the work of the Leon County Teen Court Classroom to Courtroom mock trial program. (This is for Leon County schools and students only.)

    College-age visitors and older can also take advantage of our Educational Tour.

    And for a brief visit to the courthouse, our Building Tour is a quick and easy way to see what's inside.

    Schedule a visit to the Florida Supreme Court.

    What types of programs and tours are offered?

    • Educational Program (students) - The Educational Program educates students of all ages about the judicial branch, Florida’s court system, the differences between trial and appellate courts and the role of the justices and how they are appointed and retained. History about the Florida Supreme Court is discussed and groups are allowed a picture-taking opportunity on the bench. Depending on the size and age of the group, the tour can also include the Library and the Lawyer’s Lounge.  These tours vary in length but normally last about 40 - 45 minutes.

    • Building Tour (all) - The Building Tour offers a quick trip through the public areas of the building. This is not as in-depth as the Educational Program or the Educational Tour; but designed to provide groups with little time the opportunity to see inside the courthouse.

    • Educational Tour (adults) - An Educational Tour is reserved for high-school age and older groups with fewer than 40 participants. This tour brings the history of the Court alive as visitors learn fascinating facts about the supreme court building and the personalities that have given life to the Court over the years. The tour includes the rotunda, courtroom, library and rare book room. Groups are also allowed a picture-taking opportunity on the bench - time and group size permitting. Educational tours vary depending on the age and size of the group but normally last 40 - 45 minutes. These tours can be tailored to fit your group's schedule.

    • Mock Oral Arguments (students) - The Mock Oral Argument (Mock OA) has long been a favorite activity of student groups visiting the Florida Supreme Court. This tour is normally led by a staff attorney or knowledgeable volunteer. Students act out an oral argument by using a hypothetical case.  This is normally 90 minutes in length with the first 20 – 30 minutes used to provide a detailed lesson on the judicial branch, Florida’s court system, the differences between trial and appellate courts and discussing the role of the justices and how they are appointed and retained. This program is for classes of 25 or less students.

    • Journey Through Justice Program - The Journey Through Justice Program compliments the Classroom to Courtroom Program offered at the Leon County Courthouse. Students experience both a mock trial and a mock oral argument to gain a thorough understanding of the difference between a trail court and an appellate court. This is for Leon County schools & students only.

    • Self-Guided Tour - The Court receives many drop-in visitors who are unable to participate in a scheduled tour. The Court building is open Monday - Friday (excluding holidays) for self-guided tours from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Groups that will have more than ten (10) people should schedule a tour with through the Public Information Office at 850.921.9446. Information about the court is available in the Rotunda.

    • Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation to participate in the tour should contact The Marshal's Office by phone at 850.488.8845 at least five (5) days prior to the tour date. Persons using a TDD or TYY may contact Odis Henry through the Florida Relay Service, 711.

    What will I see on the tour?

    Tours can include the lower rotunda area, the courtroom, Library and its Rare Book room, portrait gallery and lawyer's lounge.  What tour groups will see depends on the size of the group, the age of the visitors and the length of time for the tour.

    Can I watch an Oral Argument?

    Oral Arguments are held once a month.  The public is welcome to watch an oral argument. Please check the OA schedule for dates and times. Additionally, please review the OA Summaries for more details about each case. Some cases may not be appropriate for young audiences.

    No appointment is necessary to observe an argument however, large groups and persons that need an accommodation are asked to notify the Marshal's Office at 850.488.8845. The courtroom accommodates up to 165 visitors. Visitors will pass through a screening device upon entering the building.

    Arguments in most cases last approximately 40 minutes (20 minutes each side), although some cases – including death penalty cases – are given additional time for argument. For most argument sessions, four cases are scheduled with a short break (10 minutes) in between the second and third case. The Court prefers that visitors be seated in the courtroom before oral arguments begin. If visitors arrive during an oral argument, security personnel will determine the best break to escort visitors into the courtroom.