By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County judge is giving some students at Abington High School a unique opportunity to see first-hand what it’s like working in the fields of law and government.

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Judge Gary Silow graduated from Abington High more than 40 years ago and was looking for a way to give something back to the community. He’s initiated a program that gives students in the Advance Placement Government course a real life lesson in what life is like in the courthouse. What he hopes they take away from the program is a mutual understanding and respect for the judicial system.

“With that respect comes an understanding of what we’re actually doing up here,” Silow says, “so it’s not just something they read in the paper or hear on the radio, that it can actually see how this impacts what we do on people’s lives.”

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Judge Gary Silow (credit: Brad Segall)

Judge Gary Silow (credit: Brad Segall)

He wants to expose the students to the system to give them an idea of what opportunities are available.

“I am a firm believer that law has so many transferrable skills,” Silow says, “that what you learn in law school, if they in fact want to go to law school, opens a lot of doors.”

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He plans to bring experts to the classroom and the students will get to the courthouse to see criminal cases.