Civil Rights and Social Justice

Join Us. Whatever your area of specialization, CRSJ has a place for you. The Section fulfills our role by: Raising and addressing often complex and difficult civil rights and civil liberties issues in a changing and diverse society; and Ensuring that protection of individual rights remains a focus of legal and policy decisions.

2019 Thurgood Marshall Award

Honoring Congressman John Lewis

The Section is honored and privileged that this year’s Thurgood Marshall Awardee will be the legendary John Lewis, one of the original 13 Freedom Riders, a founding member and Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the only one of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders who organized the 1964 March on Washington still living, a 17 term congressional leader, and one of only two Lifetime Achievement recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award.

About - the Award

 Mark D. Agrast receives the Robert F. Drinan Award  for Distinguished Service at the ABA Midyear Meeting

Section Initiatives

In the 2017-18 bar year, the Section partnered with the Presidential Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, appointed by Hilarie Bass, past President of the ABA (2017-2018) and chaired by Robert N. Weiner, former Chair of the Section, to prepare these guidelines, which were adopted by the ABA House of Delegates in August 2018.



Human Rights Magazine

Each of our Section members receives a subscription to Human Rights, our award-winning quarterly magazine. For decades, it has been a trusted source of expert ideas, opinions, and discourse on a diverse array of topics in the human and civil rights arena.

Read - the magazine


Over the past five decades, the Section and its members have worked on hundreds of issues addressing a broad range of civil rights, civil liberties, and international human rights. Today, the Section continues to promote policies affecting religious freedom, LGBT rights, gender equity, and other significant civil rights issues. Your gift will help make our efforts possible for the next fifty years!


Chair's Column

2018-19 Section Chair Wilson A. Schooley pens his Winter column. Wilson Adam Schooley is Chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, member of the ABA Journal Board of Editors and House of Delegates, and a civil rights and indigent defense attorney, author, adjunct professor, photographer, and actor.

Read - the full column

Join Us

Committee participation allows members of CRSJ to become more deeply involved with the issues they care most about. Each year the Section committees organize CLE and community programs, draft letters to government officials, and help shape official ABA policy.