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Resources include the Law merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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This is the Law merit badge for Scouts, Lone Scouts, and qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts.
For the Scout Law, see Scout Law.

Law merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1974
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 068
Requirements revision: 2019
Latest pamphlet revision: 2011


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.

Law merit badge requirements

  1. Define "law." Tell some of its sources. Describe functions it serves.
  2. Discuss TWO of the following:
    a. Justinian’s Code, The Code of Hammurabi, and the Magna Carta.
    b. The development of the jury system.
    c. 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:
    a. Attend a session of a civil or criminal court. Write 250 words or more on what you saw.
    b. 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 aspect 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:
    a. Environmental law
    b. Computers and the Internet
    c. Copyright and the Internet
    d. Immigration
    e. Patents
    f. Biotechnology
    g. Privacy law
    h. International law

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Law is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Law requirements. has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

Requirement resources

1. The Law Frederic Bastiat's classic and comprehensive work.
American Law Source A practical guide showing where various laws come from.
Definition, Overview, History, etc.
Definition of "Law"
2a. The Justinian Code An extensive unit from the UWy Law School.
The Justinian Code A teacher’s seminar highlighting the Story of Human Rights in the World.
The Code of Hammurabi With commentary.
The Code of Hammurabi WSU’s translation (their study guide here).
The Magna Carta from the National Archives.
What is the Magna Carta?
2b. Origins of the American Jury
2c. Famous Trials Trials throughout history, with links to full information.
Other Famous Trials
3. What is Civil Law?
Differences between civil law and criminal law
5. Consumer Protection laws & organizations:

State Attorneys General - enforce state consumer laws and provide free assistance in investigating consumer complaints, issuing alerts, and insuring fair competition.
Consumer Product Safety Act - gives CPSC the power to develop safety standards and pursue recalls for products.
Federal Trade Commission Act - created the FTC to prevent unfair competition, deceptive acts, regulate trade, etc.
Pure Food and Drug Act - led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate foods, drugs, and more.
Communications Act of 1934 - created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate all radio and interstate cable, phone, and satellite communications.
National Do Not Call Registry - Privacy - allows US consumers to limit telemarketing calls they receive.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) - regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) - limits abusive consumer practices, insures fairness, etc.
Truth in Lending Act (TILA) - requires clear disclosure of key terms of the lending arrangement and all costs.
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) - prohibits kickbacks and requires lenders to provide a good faith estimate of costs.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) - provides consumer protection for Health Information.
Federal Citizen Information Center - provides information about consumer news items, recalls, and consumer scam alerts.
Laws that protect the consumer
Better Business Bureau - file a complaint or see if others have complained about a business.
Consumers Union evaluates products and services and publishes Consumer Reports; also advocates for politically liberal causes.

7: What does an attorney do?
8: Requirements for becoming a Lawyer
Judicial Selection Methods in the States A state-by-state analysis.
9: Jobs in the Legal Field

Related awards

Profession-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools