Welcome to Legal & Public Affairs

The Legal & Public Affairs Academy provides our students with the elements of education they need to become responsible citizens, ready to take on the challenges of the legal world and be of service to our public sector. We strive to educate students of diverse backgrounds to become effective, ethical professionals who are employable in a wide range of positions.  Through our thorough coverage of the criminal justice and corrections systems, investigations, civil court practices and governance, members of the “legal family” learn of and prepare themselves for a wide variety professions. We are “legal proud” and that comes from the discipline and professionalism developed through four deliberate years of instruction with our dedicated team of educators.

About Our Team

Together our team of instructors have over 80 years of combined experience and service in the fields of civil litigation, criminal justice, law enforcement and elected office. Our educators are passionate about their areas of expertise and demonstrate great pride in developing the members of the Legal Academy.  That development process includes close attention to their emotional and social learning through the compassionate efforts of our dedicated school counselor.

Our Program

The Academy features a four year academic program that broadens the standard curricula. In addition to their required courses, Legal & Public Affairs Academy students complete three years of successive courses in criminal justice. The program currently culminates in the senior year with cross-industry instruction in becoming an Accredited Legal Professional, for which industry certification is offered through the National Association of Legal Support Professionals.  Members of the “legal family” are also provided with an array of work-based learning opportunities, paid summer internships, guest speakers, mock interviews and much, much more.

Leadership training opportunities abound, as do competition experiences. Our instructional team further dedicates their time and talent to our students through club sponsorship and industry organizations such as the Future Public Service Association, Skills USA, Mock Trial competitions and Police Explorers. Awards and recognitions come home to the Reef from local, regional, state and national events, and we celebrate our competitors at Academy events throughout the year.

In 2023, the Legal and Public Affairs Academy attained the highest level of recognition from NAF, a national non-profit organization that transforms the high school experience to prepare students for college, career and future success. NAF’s instructional practices align with Reef norms in fostering cross-curriculum collaboration, partnerships with industry professionals and developing workplace skills. Our academy is now certified as a NAF Distinguished Academy, acknowledgement that our small learning community within Coral Reef High School is improving outcomes for our students. Through NAF, our students reap all the benefits of the national organization, including the local community advisory board facilitated by MDCPS’s Career and Technical Education office.

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Lead Teacher

Ms. Leanne Tellam
305-232-20440 Ext 2171

Office Hours
By Appointment

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Mrs. Shirley André
Student Counselor Request Form
305-232-2044 ext. 2331

Office Hours
A-Days: 7:20am – 2:20pm
B-Days: 7:20am – 2:20pm