The National Civics and Law Academy – An Experience of a Lifetime

The Commission on Civic Education in the Nation's Schools conducted the 2nd annual National Civics and Law Academy in Washington, DC, March 18-22, in collaboration with the Close Up Foundation.

Twenty-two high school students from around the country participated in this program. Students took part in a set of six seminars conducted by leaders in law, government and the media, including sessions with: Ambassador-Designate to Uruguay Julissa Reynoso at the U.S. Department of State; Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States; Suzanne Spaulding, Deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; BET Network’s T.J. Holmes: U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island); and Royce Lamberth, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. Participating students also visited the National Archives, Library of Congress, Museum of American History, Newseum, and the Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials. In addition, they attended a performance of “1776” at historic Ford’s Theater. Sponsors who helped make the trip possible for the students, included bar associations, law firms, individual lawyers and others.

In conjunction with the Academy, the Commission prepared a 48-page participant's guide. ABA Division for Public Education staff engaged with the students via social media, including Twitter (#civacademy) and Facebook, to highlight the progress of the National Civics and Law Academy in “real time.” One of the students, expressing the sentiment of the group, tweeted, “I’ve met some of the most incredible individuals. This was a phenomenally fantastic week. I’m going to miss it.”

View photos from the National Civics and Law Academy and check out Close Up’s picture gallery on Facebook.