Each year, around March, the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, participates in a national program entitled Open Doors to Federal Courts. It is designed to help high school students learn more about the role of the federal courts in our system of justice. This annual program supports California’s approach to the HSS Framework and C3 Framework and is part of a long-term commitment by the federal courts to share in the civic education of high school students who are making the passage to adult citizenship. Open Doors is coordinated by the Robert T. Matsui Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, the Robert E. Coyle Federal Courthouse in Fresno, the Redding Federal Courthouse each year, and the Bakersfield Federal Courthouse every other year.

The objective of Open Doors is to bring together high school students, teachers, judges, court staff, lawyers, probation and pretrial services representatives — and others in the justice system — to enhance the students’ knowledge of the legal process and the courts. Students experience a mock trial with actual attorneys and a federal judge presiding over the proceedings. In some cases, students have the opportunity to play various parts in the mock trial. Various personnel in the justice system share their roles and responsibilities with the students giving the students the opportunity to learn more about the different roles that make up the judicial system and its processes. In Sacramento, students conclude their day with a visit to the Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Library and Learning Center.

Schools will receive an invitation email with a registration form. Teachers or administrators can also complete the registration form by selecting from the list below. Because we have limited seating available in the courtrooms, the schools chosen to participate are in the order in which their registration form is received.

Download a printable flyer here.


Bakersfield:  Event Date: February 5, 2025
Fresno:  Event Date: 2025 TBA
Redding:  Event Date: 2025 TBA | Registration Form | Please read these Redding Important Notes
Sacramento:  Event Date: 2025 TBA | Registration Form | Please read these Sacramento Important Notes


For additional information or to request an invitation to Open Doors for your school, please contact Daniel Spohr-Grimes at or (916) 930-4036.