Levels of the Federal Courts

This Levels of the Federal Courts interactive also includes:

The Supreme Court gets all the glory, but very few federal cases make it to the highest court. An interesting lesson explores the structure of the lower levels of the federal court system. In addition to outlining the organization of district and appeals courts, the page introduces scholars of criminology to the differences between original and appellate jurisdiction as well as criminal and civil law. 

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Instructional Ideas

  • Assign as a resource for scholars to research the different types of federal courts
Classroom Considerations

  • The resource is part of a series of five lessons on the organization of the Federal Courts
  • Some of the information in the lesson relates specifically to the state of Missouri 
  • Reading level better for high school age than lower levels 
Pros

  • Contains a useful pyramid graphic that outlines the three levels of federal courts
  • The interactive quiz is a fairly simple, but effective, five-question review of the different types of federal courts
  • Highlights linked key terms
Cons

  • The font size is small and navigation is not always intuitive