Wyoming Judicial Branch

Wyoming Judicial Learning Center

Contact Info

Eydie Trautwein, J.D.
Phone: 307.777.7629
FAX: 307.777.3447
Email: etrautwein@courts.state.wy.us
Supreme Court Building
2301 Capitol Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002

The Judicial Learning Center will be completed in two (2) phases:

January, 2015 - January, 2016

Phase 1: Demolition, construction of new walls, new entry doors, carpeting, electrical and furnishings to create the Judicial Learning Center space within the current State Law Library. Preliminary exhibit content development.

February, 2016 - December, 2016

Phase 2: Project management, exhibit design, production and fabrication: Rule of Law Theater, Judicial Milestones, iCivics stations, Wyoming Map, Access to Justice, You Be The Judge, What it Takes to Be a Judge, Hear from a Judge, Assembling the Rule of Law and other wall exhibits.

January 9, 2017

Open to the public

The Wyoming Supreme Court launched a project to create the Judicial Learning Center within the current State Law Library. The center includes interactive exhibits to teach audiences about the importance and meaning of the Rule of Law. Exhibits highlight Wyoming’s unique and significant contributions to our country’s legal system. Understanding the law can be difficult. The center provides a fun and interactive environment to promote education about important legal concepts.

Click images to enlarge [+]

The Judicial Learning Center was inspired by the Colorado Judicial Learning Center. Wyoming’s Judicial Learning Center is located on the first floor of the Supreme Court building in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the northeast corner of the existing Wyoming State Law Library. The center includes the following exhibits:

  1. Judicial Milestones: A 40-foot exhibit, composed of 3 foot panels and LED screens, highlights the important historical milestones in Wyoming’s legal history;
  2. Hear From a Judge: Wyoming judges answer questions and tell unique stories about 1 of 5 themes, including Landmark and Historic Wyoming Court cases. Visitors will hear and see videos of each judge’s story through an interactive kiosk;
  3. You Be The Judge: This interactive exhibit provides 3 case scenarios (criminal, civil custody, and contract dispute) and visitors must make the final decision in the case after hearing all the evidence;
  4. Wyoming Map: Visitors will learn about Wyoming’s judicial court districts by exploring an interactive map of Wyoming on a simple and intuitive touch screen interface;
  5. Rule of Law Theatre/Exhibit: The Center includes a theatre room where a fast-paced, fun-filled introductory film is played to demonstrate the difference between the Rule of Man and the Rule of Law. The film features local actors, including several attorneys; and
  6. Other exhibits include: Four Pillars of the Rule of Law, What it Takes to Be A Judge, and Assembling the Rule of Law.

Because….“Democracy requires educated and involved citizens who understand the fundamental structure of our government. Without that, public trust and confidence are at risk….” Chief Justice Marilyn S. Kite, State of the Wyoming Judiciary (2012)

National surveys show that two-thirds of our citizens cannot identify the three branches of government, let alone describe their respective responsibilities, and a third cannot name any. Fewer than one-third of eighth graders could identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Only 15% of adults correctly named John Roberts as United States Chief Justice, but almost twice as many (27%) could identify the judges on the television show, American Idol.

The Wyoming Supreme Court plays a role in promoting civics education. The Court has supported and will continue to support educational opportunities for Wyoming’s citizens, including: (1) Supreme Court sessions held in local high schools; (2) “We the People” - National Civic Education Program; (3) iCivics and Civics Education Conferences; and (4) Tours of the Supreme Court. The Judicial Learning Center will further advance civics education in Wyoming!

iCivics is a web-based project designed to promote civic education and inspire students to be active participants in our democracy. Promoted by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, iCivics offers an array of free interactive games for students and materials for teachers. Project Citizen is a curricular program promoting competent and responsible participation with government at all levels. The program helps participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy while developing support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political efficacy.