Go To Search
Click to Home
Find a Department
DPA James Curtis honored by bar association for service to legal education
james curtisThe Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association recently honored Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor James Curtis with its 2014 Service to Legal Education Award for his work educating young people about the legal system.

Curtis partners with Upward Bound, a program for low-income, inner-city students at Lincoln, Foss and Mt. Tahoma High Schools. Curtis’s portion of the program, called Think, encourages the 50 – 60 students at each high school to stop and think about the consequences of legal troubles. Think is a two-part, hands-on program.
The first part takes place in the classroom and consists of presentations about the legal system. Curtis brings in police officers and fellow deputy prosecutors as guest speakers. Students get the opportunity to watch videos of real crime scenes and learn about the different parts of a criminal case: charging, arraignment, pretrial conference, omnibus hearing, plea, sentencing and trial.

Once the students are well-versed in the legal system, they visit the courthouse for the second part of the program. The students get an inside look at the jail and courthouse, and participate in a mock trial acted out by deputy prosecutors and public defenders. After closing statements, the students break into smaller groups to deliberate. Each mock jury then delivers a verdict.

Curtis emphasizes the Think program is not a “scared straight” approach, but rather an attempt to develop student leaders who can educate their friends on the consequences of life choices.

Curtis has served as a deputy prosecutor in the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office for seven years, where he works in the Gang Unit.