MB – Law

November 18th, 2014 by user

Earning this merit badge enables a Scout to learn about the history and kinds of laws, the purpose and methods of law enforcement, consumer protection agencies, emerging law, and careers in the legal profession.



  1. Define “law.” Tell some of its sources. Describe functions it serves.
  2. Discuss two of the following:
    1. Justinian’s Code, the Code of Hammurabi, and the Magna Carta
    2. The development of the jury system
    3. Two famous trials in history
  3. Tell what civil law is; tell what criminal law is. Tell the main differences between them. Give examples of each.
  4. Ask five people (not more than one from your immediate family) about the role of law enforcement officers in our society. Discuss their answers with them. Go to a law enforcement officer in your neighborhood and ask about his or her responsibilities and duties. Report your findings.
  5. Tell about several laws that were passed to protect the consumer and the seller. Tell about several organizations that provide help to consumers and sellers.
  6. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Attend a session of a civil or criminal court. Write 250 words or more on what you saw.
    2. Plan and conduct a mock trial with your troop or school class. After the trial is over, discuss it with the group.
  7. Arrange a visit with a lawyer who works for a business, bank, title company, or government agency. Find out his or her duties and responsibilities. Report what you have learned.
  8. Explain the requirements for becoming a lawyer in your state. Describe how judges are selected in your state.
  9. Make a list of 15 jobs that deal with some aspects of law or legal processes. Tell which you prefer. Why?
  10. Tell where people can go to obtain the help of a lawyer if they are unable to pay for one. Tell what you can do if you can afford a lawyer but do not know of any in your area.
  11. Discuss with your counselor the importance in our society of TWO of the following areas of the law:
    1. Environmental law
    2. Computers and the Internet
    3. Copyright and the Internet
    4. Space travel and satellites orbiting Earth
    5. Patents
    6. Biotechnology
    7. Privacy law
    8. International law


Scouting Literature

Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, and Crime Prevention merit badge pamphlets

Visit the Boy Scouts of America’s official retail website at http://www.scoutstuff.org for a complete listing of all merit badge pamphlets and other helpful Scouting materials and supplies.


  • Aaseng, Nathan. You Are the Juror. Oliver Press, 1997.
  • Abadinsky, Howard. Law and Justice: An Introduction to the American Legal System. Third edition. Nelson-Hall, 1995.
  • Abramson, Jeffrey. We, the Jury: The Jury System and the Ideal of Democracy. Harvard University Press, 2000.
  • Adler, Stephen J. Jury: Trial and Error in the American Courtroom. Times Books, 1994.
  • American Bar Association. A Life in Law. American Bar Association, 1999. (A guide to law as a career.Order at www.americanbar.org; specify product code 2350257.)
  • Arbetman, Lee P., Margaret E. Fisher, and Edward L. O’Brien. Street Law: A Course in Practical Law. South-Western Thomson Learning, 1999.
  • Arbetman, Lee P., and Richard L. Roe. Great Trials in American History: Civil War to the Present. West Publishing Company College and School Division, 1984.
  • Besenjak, Cheryl. Copyright Plain & Simple. Career Press, 2000.
  • Bjornlund, Lydia D. The U.S. Constitution: Blueprint for Democracy. Lucent Books, 1999.
  • Carrel, Annette. It’s the Law: A Young Person’s Guide to Our Legal System. Volcano Press, 1994.
  • Emert, Phyllis Raybin. Top Lawyers and Their Famous Cases. Oliver Press, 1996.
  • Irons, Peter. The Courage of Their Convictions. Free Press, 1988.
  • Knight, Alfred H. The Life of the Law: The People and Cases That Have Shaped Our Society From King Alfred to Rodney King. Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. HarperCollins, 1999.
  • Lipson, Eric B., and Greta B. Lipson. Everyday Law for Young Citizens. Teaching and Learning Company, 2000.
  • Monk, Linda R. The Bill of Rights: A User’s Guide. Third edition. Close Up Foundation, 2000.
  • Morin, Isobel V. Our Changing Constitution: How and Why We Have Amended It. Millbrook Press, 1998.
  • National Crime Prevention Council Staff. Community Works: Smart Teens Make Safer Communities. National Crime Prevention Council, 1999.
  • Renstrom, Peter G. The American Law Dictionary. A B C-CLIO, 1991.
  • Roleff, Tamara L., editor. Civil Liberties: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, 1999.

Organizations and Web Sites

American Bar Association
Division for Public Education
321 N. Clark St., 20.2
Chicago, IL 60654
Telephone: 312-988-5735
Website: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education.html

Creative America
Website: http://www.creativeamerica.org

Creative Commons
Website: http://www.creativecommons.org

Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
Telephone: 202-272-0167
Website: http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/index.html

National Association of Youth Courts
401 W. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Telephone: 410-528-0143
Website: http://www.youthcourt.net

National Conference of Bar Examiners
302 S. Bedford St.
Madison, WI 53703-3622
Website: http://www.ncbex.org/bar-admissions/

Social Studies School Service
P.O. Box 802
Culver City, CA 90232
Toll-free telephone: 800-421-4246
Website: http://www.socialstudies.com

Street Law
1010 Wayne Ave., Suite 870
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Telephone: 301-589-1130
Website: http://www.streetlaw.org

Bar associations everywhere support public legal education. To get an idea of the range of activities and the resources available, visit the following websites.

The New York State Bar Association has a Law, Youth, and Citizenship program that offers mock trial tournaments, summer courses, and programs that promote citizenship
and law-related education. Visit its website at http://www.nysba.org. The Pennsylvania Bar Association, at http://www.pabar.org, provides information for all kinds of youth-related
programs and activities. The State Bar of Texas can be found on the Web at http://www.texasbar.com. Its Law-Related Education, an arm of the association, sponsors an editorial contest and offers teacher in-service programs. The Washington State Bar Association, at http://www.wsba.org, offers a huge range of activities.