The "Now You're 18" program is designed to help young adults learn about their legal rights and responsibilities. It is currently operating in a number of Ohio locations including Cincinnati, Toledo and Cleveland, through the efforts of local bar associations and the League of Women Voters of Ohio. In addition, the Ohio State Bar Foundation has provided funding assistance for program expansion.
Programs vary throughout the state, but all have the same purpose: to inform students of the changes in their legal status when they turn 18, and how that important birthday affects every facet of their lives.
Generally, this is how a program works:
- A school is identified and a date is chosen for an assembly (or other appropriate venue).
- A lawyer or a judge comes to the school to speak to students about the legal ramifications of becoming an adult.
- Students are provided with an informational brochure (some include phone contact information for organizations such as the board of elections and the county courthouse).
A "Now You're 18" program may be initiated by a local bar association, a local League of Women Voter's organization, or by the school itself. In Clermont County, for example, the Clermont County Bar Association oversees the program, providing speakers and brochures, while the League of Women Voters helps with school contacts.
The success of this program in places such as Clermont County spurred the Ohio State Bar Association to find a way to help extend the program's reach into other Ohio counties, especially those with limited resources.
The result is a two-page brochure in pdf format that can be downloaded from the OSBA site, printed onto one sheet of standard-size paper, and copied for distribution to students. The brochure also includes Web links to more detailed information available through the OSBA's site (LawFacts pamphlets and Law You Can Use articles). To view or download the brochure, click here.
Also, the OSBA has collected contact information for all 88 counties, including phone numbers for county boards of election, public and law libraries, health departments, chambers of commerce, and elected officials. The OSBA Public Relations Department will make this information available to anyone who is interested in using it for a "Now You're 18" school presentation. Contact OSBA Public Relations at (800) 282-6556 or (614) 487-2050 or OSBA Public Information Manager Debby Cooper at email@example.com
for this additional information. To find out how to start a "Now You're 18" program in your community, click here