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  • WINTER 2009
  • Educating the Public about the Law



Novel Educates Public About the Courts

novelJustice Case Files is a series of illustrated novels created by the National Center for State Courts to educate the public about how courts work, how judges make decisions, and how courts are accountable for law.

The first in this series weaves together two issues into one story about downloading music and eminent domain. In addition, lesson plans for the first issue are available for educators.

Visit the National Center for State Court’s website to download a sample or to purchase your copy.


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New Edition - ABA’s Complete Personal Legal Guide

Complete Personal Legal GuideThe ABA Division for Public Education has released a new edition of its Random House series of the ABA’s Complete Personal Legal Guide: The Essential Reference for Every Household. This revised and updated edition includes easy-to-digest, comprehensive legal information every household needs.

The ABA’s Complete Personal Legal Guide offers the most comprehensive, useful, and authoritative information available on how the law affects individuals at home, at work, and at play. In addition to tips on real estate, health care, home ownership, retirement, and much more, there are new useful charts and graphs, insightful personal stories, and a new chapter on the growing specialty of “disabled” or “special needs” law that will be helpful to an even larger audience.

Order your copy today and ensure that, whatever the legal situation, your family is knowledgeable and protected.


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Dialogue on Lincoln

The latest in the ABA Dialogue series, the Dialogue on Lincoln: A Legacy of Liberty, explores the life and legacy of our nation’s 16th president. Designed for use by lawyers, judges, and teachers in school classrooms and with community groups, the Dialogue on Lincoln offers three perspectives for discussion:  Lincoln’s life, including his career as a lawyer; his decisions as a wartime president; and the portrayal of his image in the media. For more information and to download previous Dialogues, visit the website. The Dialogue on Lincoln will be available for download and in hard copy in February 2009.


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History Now – Abraham Lincoln in His Time and Ours

Visit History Now for articles on such topics as Lincoln’s relationship with abolitionists and his views on race, as well as an interactive feature allowing readers to see and hear Lincoln scholars as they address the Lincoln Symposium held in November 2008 at Columbia University. This issue of History Now also includes lesson plans on Lincoln from teachers across the country.

Visit the website for more information on The Gilder Lehrman Institute.


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2009 Law Day Planning Guide Available

The 2009 Law Day Planning Guide is available for download at Download your copy or request that a copy be mailed to you and start planning your 2009 Law Day program today.

The planning guide includes tips on how to organize and plan your program, sample news releases and public service announcements to publicize your event, talking points on how to involve community members, and lesson plans for K -12 students.

As you plan your 2009 Law Day program, don’t forget to visit the Law Day store at to purchase promotional material, prizes and awards for students, and thank you gifts for presenters and participants. Themed items sell out early, so order today. Order your Law Day items before February 27 to save 10%.


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Law Matters, the news source for the law-related education (LRE) community

To subscribe: To subscribe to Law Matters, use this online order form.
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Law Matters, which reports on developments, ideas, programs, and resources in the field of public education about the law, is disseminated three times yearly (fall, winter, spring) by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Public Education.

Chair, Dwight L. Smith
Director, Division for Public Education, Mabel C. McKinney-Browning
Editor, Law Matters, Colleen Danz

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are those of the editors and have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association or the Standing Committee on Public Education.

The American Bar Association is a not-for-profit organization.

Copyright ©2009 American Bar Association




Programs & Activities

LRE Conference 2009 - Call for proposals

Championing Our Students Through Mentoring, Support, and Collaboration

ABA Public Program Series

National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week Marks Its Fourth Anniversary

Silver Gavel Award Deadline

Register for the 2009 Teacher Summer Institute

Participate in the Fourth American Mock Trial Invitational





Supreme Court Update

The Court, which began the 2008 – 2009 term with an unusually heavy argument schedule (14 cases in October) issued its first decision November 12 and its second a month later.   More...


Legislative Update

Responding to the unexpectedly severe economic recession that started a month before his inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama has signaled his intention to push for what has been called “the biggest economic stimulus in U.S. history.”   More...




Research and Development in Law, Justice, Education, and Youth

National LRE and Youth-Serving Resources



ABA Initiatives

ABA Resources

Youth Courts