Prep Students Go Above the Law with Legal Studies

PATHWAY FOCUS: Legal Studies


Courtesy of Mr. Alessi

James Alessi is the Legal Studies Pathway teacher at Passaic Prep.

The Legal Studies Pathway involves career learning skills and can lead to future jobs such as attorney, paralegal, legal secretary, law clerk, social worker, corrections officer and more, according to Mr. Alessi, the law teacher here at Passaic Preparatory Academy.

“We work and laugh. The students are worked, there is no doubt about that,” said Mr. Alessi. 

Students work hard to get them prepared for the real world and so they can succeed early, he said, but at the same time, Mr. Alessi wants to ensure that students have fun. There are also quite a number of activities done in his class, such as reading, note-taking, legal application, debates, case analysis and research essays.

The Legal Studies Pathway also has long-term goals, such as growing a strong, respectable and oft-traveled pathway. In addition to this, Mr. Alessi wants to make sure his students are well prepared and do very well in college and get into a post-grad program.

Mr. Alessi had some things to say to encourage students to join the Pathway. 

“It is challenging. However, at the end of it all you will be able to handle college,” he said. “If you do what I ask you to, and if it becomes second nature, then you will be ready for college.” 

In addition to this, Mr. Alessi oversees the Mock Trial Club. Just like the students in the club, he is also on a learning curve. 

“The goal is to learn and also have fun, because that’s the best way to do things,” he said.

To encourage student involvement in the club, Brian Hernandez, a member of the club, said: “It gives them an insight on how law works.”

Citlaly Hernandez, another member of the club, added: “It also gives them a feel inside a courtroom and how an actual case would be presented in the court.” 

Future plans for the club include competitions and even an inter-school competition with Science’s Mock Trial Club.