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Civics Education Resources


Vol. 106 No. 1 (2022) | Necessarily Engaged | Download PDF Version of Article

Below is a list of the many civics education resources mentioned in this edition of Judicature, categorized by Governmental Resources, General Resources for the Community, Educational Resources for Students and Teachers, and Internships and Fellowship Opportunities. Special thank you to Marie Lee, a Bolch Judicial Institute student fellow, for her help compiling this list.

I. Governmental Resources (2)

Federal Judicial Center – Provides resources on judicial history, famous federal trials, and the court system to help educators, students, the media, and other public members learn more about the federal courts.

United States Courts – Provides realistic simulations and memorable, interactive approaches to court basics that include comparing federal and state courts.

II. General Resources for the Community (10)

Bolch Judicial Institute – Offers Judgment Calls, a podcast series hosted by its director, David F. Levi, a former federal judge, featuring interviews with federal and state judges on their lives and careers.

Federal Bar Association – Offers Civics Essay Contest, Civics Education Resources, and SOLACE outreach program as part of its civics education initiative.

Federal Courts of the Ninth Circuit – Provides various court outreach programs as part of the civics education initiative dedicated solely to improving the community’s understanding of and confidence in the federal courts.

Idaho Law Foundation – Conducts evening classes taught by lawyers and federal and state judges for adults enrolled in the Citizens’ Law Academy offered in cities around the state.

Judicial Learning Center – Provides various exhibits, programs, and resources for students and educators as the first educational center in the country devoted to the judicial process in the federal courts.

National Center for State Courts – Shares authoritative knowledge and expertise to address current and emerging issues and trends in state court administration.

National Constitution Center – Explores the text, history, and meaning of the U.S. Constitution with diverse legal and philosophical perspectives from America’s leading scholars.

Our Courts Colorado – Provides a series of practical presentations in English and Spanish that judges and lawyers present to the community.

Sacramento Federal Judicial Library and Learning Center Foundation – Promotes public understanding of the judicial process and offers audio display exhibits of historical and constitutional significance.

Supreme Court Historical Society – Supports historical research, sponsors lectures or educational curriculum, and publishes books and other materials that increase public awareness of the Court’s contribution to the nation’s rich constitutional heritage.

III. Educational Resources for the Students and Teachers (10)

American Bar Association – Provides lesson plans and class activities to teachers and resources for the general public on civics and the judiciary.

Civics Renewal Network – Posts the best resources of a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations committed to strengthening civic life in the U.S. to teachers, searchable by subject, grade, resource type, standards, and teaching strategy.

Education for American Democracy – Offers a Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy, a guidance and an inquiry framework that states, local school districts, and educators can use to transform the teaching of history and civics.

Federal Courts of the Second Circuit – Supports educational institutions and other community organizations in developing age-appropriate interactive and engaging learning experiences by providing civic education training.

Federal Courts of the Sixth Circuit – Offers special programs to high school students enrolled in law-focused courses, public school students enrolled in general social studies courses, and teachers in professional development programs.

iCivics – Provides high-quality and engaging civics resources and online games to teachers and students across the nation.

Marquette University Law School – Sponsors an annual Summer Youth Institute designed to introduce middle and high school students from the City of Milwaukee to the legal system.

Mikva Challenge – Involves young people in civic engagement through hands-on, project-based learning that profoundly transforms students’ civic attitudes, skills, and sense of agency.

National Association for Urban Debate Leagues – Offers a national program in urban public schools that matches judges and attorneys with student debate teams and competitions.

The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement – Creates the capacity for teachers to improve educational outcomes in relevant and impactful ways by offering various experiential learning programs.

IV. Internships and Fellowships Opportunities (5)

James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation – Offers $24,000 James Madison Graduate Fellowships to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level.

Supreme Court Internship Program – Provides students with a unique opportunity to build a substantial working knowledge of the role, functions, and history of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program – Cultivates and develops future leaders by placing high school, college, and law school students from underserved communities and diverse backgrounds in judicial internships in state and federal courts in the New York City area.

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts – In addition to hosting several civics education events throughout the year, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland hosts two unique fellowships (see below).

Nelson Fellowship – Selects approximately ten to twelve Nelson Fellows to intern at the Court each year, learning from immersive courses and field trips, interning in a judge’s chambers, and attending various court proceedings.

Lindsay Fellowship – Selects approximately five to six Lindsay Fellows to intern at the Court each year in a judge’s chambers and participate in courses that focus on legal research and writing.

United States Senate Youth Program – Offers a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service.

U.S. Courts – Activity packages, discussion guides, and presentations for both in-person and Zoom discussions with school-age groups.

Federal Bar Association – Ready-to-use presentations and classroom activities organized by length of time; information about summer camp; and downloadable framework for Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions program (CD3).

American Bar Association – Summer Teachers Institutes; a teachers’ portal with lesson plans and class activities; and resources for the general public on civics and the judiciary.

National Center for State Courts – Information about the NCSC essay contest; Constitution and Law Day resources; and state court civics education resources listed by state.

Our Courts Colorado – Presentations and videos on various aspects of state and federal courts, types of litigation, and Colorado’s judicial selection process.

Rendell Center For Civics and Civic Engagement – Civics lesson plans, podcasts, videos, mock trial outlines, and information about the Summer Teachers Institute.

Civics Renewal Network – Thirty-seven nonprofit organizations share civics education resources here, including classroom activities and lesson plans searchable by topic and grade level, plus tips for teaching about civics, elections, controversial topics, media literacy, and more.