In December we announced a contest for ATL readers. We called upon you to play Do I Have A Right?, one of the educational video games launched by Our Courts. Today we’re pleased to announce the winners.
In case you’re not familiar with it, Our Courts is “a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy.” It was the brainchild of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (who spoke with us about Our Courts for this Washington Post piece).
Above the Law’s “Do I Have A Right?” tournament was a huge success, with 8,650 plays from nearly 7,500 unique players. People logged games in 49 states — c’mon, North Dakota, where’s the love? — and the average play time was 7:55 minutes.
Justice O’Connor was very pleased:
I want to congratulate the winners of the Our Courts – Above the Law Tournament. I was thrilled by the participation and interest in our game. It just goes to show that even trained lawyers can always use a refresher course in middle school civics.
And who were the winners? There were two, tied with a high score of 13,653. The first was David Cohen, a sports lawyer in Southern California. The second was “Anonymous,” who chose to remain nameless “so that people he knows don’t think he spends all his time [in the office] playing DIHAR.”
These winners will be featured as characters in a future Our Courts game. Speaking of Our Courts, they have a new game out, Argument Wars, which allows players to argue landmark Supreme Court cases. The preview case allows readers to argue Brown v. Board of Education; two more cases will launch next Monday, and two more by mid-February.
The full list of high scorers in the DIHAR challenge — perhaps you know some of them? — appears after the jump.
Back in October, we wrote a piece for the Washington Post about retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s new educational video games. She’s spearheading a project called Our Courts, which seeks to improve civic education in middle schools. One game, Supreme Decision, lets the kiddies weigh in on a First Amendment case in the Supreme Court. The other, Do I Have A Right? (DIHAR), lets players start a law firm and serve clients with constitutional issues.
The subject of law firm management is a subject near and dear to many ATL readers’ hearts. We have noticed that commenters often have many suggestions for how it can be done better. So we have decided to put you to the test with a DIHAR tournament.
The winner of the tournament will get more than just bragging rights. The award for the ATL reader with the highest score is a starring role in an upcoming Our Courts game.
More information, plus complete contest rules, after the jump.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is not really retired yet. “I am more busy in retirement than before,” she told Above the Law in a recent interview. One of her myriad projects is Our Courts, a non-profit organization that develops Web-based games to teach seventh- and eighth-graders about government. We spoke with Justice O’Connor recently for our piece for the Washington Post reviewing the games.
We had hoped to actually play the games with her, but it turns out she’s not much of a gamer. Not being the computer type, she hasn’t actually played the Web-based games herself. “I watched young people play it. They have a lot of fun. They’re actively engaged. I think it’s very exciting,” she told us.
Justice O’Connor has been touring the country to promote the games. She even stopped in to chat with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. We got to catch up with her via conference call last month. We rung her up at One First Street — like some retired Biglaw partners, retired SCOTUS justices get to keep an office. After her secretary connected us, Justice O’Connor answered the phone: “Sandra Day O’Connor.”
We discovered that O’Connor is adamant about bringing an end to the election of judges in America. Read more from our interview, after the jump.
Last year, we wrote about retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor entering a new field: video game development. She’s spearheading a project called Our Courts, which seeks to improve civic education in middle schools. The Our Courts website officially launched in January of this year.
The first two games, “Supreme Decision” and “Do I Have A Right?”, went live this summer. The Washington Post contacted us and asked us to review them. We played Nintendo, Oregon Trail, and Carmen Sandiego growing up, and we spent a recent Friday night at Elie’s playing Rock Band, so we were willing to give the Our Courts game a go.
Check out our review of the games, along with additional reflections on civic education and public access to the courts, in this Washington Post piece: Educational? You Be the Judge.
While Lat was in D.C., he swung by the Washington Post’s offices to talk about the games. Check out his star turn in the video after the jump.
Former SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is on a mission to educate. As reported last summer, she’s working with Georgetown University and Arizona State University on a “free, interactive, web-based program designed to teach and engage students in civics.” It’s called Our Courts, and it’s now live.
By having civics lessons in the form of online games, O’Connor hopes to trick the kids into thinking they’re having fun while they learn about the court system and constitutional rights. It brings back fond memories of The Oregon Trail, and an excuse to play video games in class. Though to be honest, we can’t remember what we really learned from that game, beyond the immense satisfaction of shooting down buffalo.
The site did a half-launch back in the fall, and has since re-designed. The games are still not live, but are promised by the start of the 2009 school year. This was the original home page (we’ve pointed out some elements that we wouldn’t want you to miss):
That design is no more. Out with the old, in with the new:
Somehow, the avatars are cuter than the real kids. Which home page do you prefer?
It has been a while since our last Eyes of the Law legal celebrity sighting, so here’s a fun one for your consideration. A D.C. tipster tells us:
We saw Sandra Day O’Connor in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s exhibit on Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. She had on the same red sweater she can be seen wearing in photos dating from the late ’90′s hanging on the wall at Georgetown. I guess the retired justice pension package isn’t as generous as I thought. Or she just really likes that sweater.
SOC was accompanied by two women in their late 20′s or early 30′s… possibly granddaughters, possibly ex-clerks. We didn’t detect any particular resemblance — neither was wearing a red sweater that looked as though it might have been knitted or handed down from grandma.
Old people and museums: perfect together. Please pass the Bengay.
Back in July 2005, shortly after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation from the Supreme Court, Professor Orin Kerr wrote an L.A. Times op-ed about how the Court might be affected by her departure. Its provocative title: O’Connor’s Successor Will Likely Be a Swinger.
We were reminded of Professor Kerr’s op-ed when we read this piece, by SOC biographer Joan Biskupic, in USA Today:
Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s husband, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has found a new romance, and his happiness is a relief to his wife, an Arizona TV report reveals.
The report, which quoted the couple’s oldest son, Scott O’Connor, focused on Alzheimer’s patients who forget their spouses and fall in love with someone else. Experts say the scenario is somewhat common.
[T]he report spotlighted John O’Connor, 77. He and the woman, referred to only as “Kay,” live at a Phoenix facility for people with Alzheimer’s.
A lesser woman might be troubled by the December-December romance. But Justice O’Connor, who understands the nature of her husband’s devastating illness, is fine with it — in fact, more than fine:
“Mom was thrilled that Dad was relaxed and happy and comfortable living here and wasn’t complaining,” Scott, 50, told KPNX-Channel 12 in Phoenix in a story that aired Thursday. The station is owned by Gannett, as is USA TODAY….
Scott compared his father to “a teenager in love” and said, “For Mom to visit when he’s happy … visiting with his girlfriend, sitting on the porch swing holding hands,” was a relief after a painful period.
In any event, Justice O’Connor is too busy with her own work to be consumed by petty jealousies. Her busy schedule of meetings and speaking engagements has kept her on the road, both nationally and internationally. Recently she was in Paris — c’est magnifique!
Earlier today, SOC spoke at Columbia Law School. A report on her visit appears after the jump.
Warmest congratulations to our friends Junko Ozao and Jason Choy, whose lovely wedding was written up in this week’s Vows column. Jason is an associate at Kirkland & Ellis, but Junko is a normal person, and that shortcoming cost them a spot in this week’s Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. The news will likely ruin their three-week honeymoon, but such are the ruthless decisions our readers expect LEWW to make.
Here are the six finalists (all lawyers):
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