Guidelines for Sponsoring Organizations
What is the Civics & Law Honor Roll?
The Civics & Law Honor Roll recognizes secondary school students from throughout the United States who have demonstrated a commitment to civic learning and engagement. Created by the ABA Commission on Civic Education in the Nation’s Schools, its purpose is to create enthusiasm for and reward academic and community volunteer achievements in civic education and engagement. Students selected for the Honor Roll receive signed certificates of achievement.
Who may sponsor a Civics & Law Honor Roll program?
Sponsoring organizations may include bar associations and affiliated and other legal and judicial organizations listed in the annual ABA Leadership Directory (“Redbook”), as well as related state and local organizations of the legal profession.
What is the selection process?
Sponsoring organizations may recognize students for the Civics & Law Honor Roll in accordance with selection criteria recommended by the American Bar Association. They may establish special selection committees or assign the responsibility to an existing standing committee or other appropriate group. To select students, sponsoring organizations are also encouraged to work through public and private high schools and local organizations, including, but not limited to, Boy and Girl Scouts, YMCAs, YWCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and summer camp programs, as well as other judicial, legal, civic, or educational organizations. Sponsoring organizations are strongly encouraged to reach diverse students and schools.
What are recommended criteria for selection?
To be eligible for recognition, students should fulfill at least one qualification within both of the two categories below:
Scholarship in Civic Education
- Excel with a B or higher grade average in one or more high school courses in civic education, including civics, government, history or law.
- Participate in a civics and law academy.
- Pass a civic education test identified by the sponsor.
Engagement in Community Citizenship Activities
Devote a minimum of six hours to one of the qualifying activities below. In addition to participating in activities, students should engage in a relevant follow-up action step, such as addressing a public policy issue before an appropriate government body, writing a letter to the editor, using social media to comment on the activity or disseminate information, or engaging in a debriefing exercise.
- Participate in a volunteer civic or community activity that promotes the rights, duties and obligations of good citizenship.
- Attend and participate in a city or town council or school board meeting, or serve as a volunteer at a legislative session.
- Attend a municipal, county, or state court trial or proceeding.
- Volunteer in a candidate’s election campaign for public office.
How may sponsors obtain Honor Roll certificates?
The American Bar Association provides, free of charge, downloadable certificates of achievement for the Civics & Law Honor Roll. Certificate templates are available for one, two, or three signatories (above). Sponsors may use the downloadable certificate templates to enter in the students’ names and those of signatories of sponsoring organizations, including bar association presidents.
How should sponsors report information on students selected for the Civics & Law Honor Roll?
Please complete the online Civics & Law Honor Roll Reporting form. You will be asked to upload a student contact list for all of the students selected for the Civics & Law Honor Roll. Include: students' full names, school, year in school, email, and phone number.
What will sponsors reporting to the ABA receive?
The American Bar Association will send a letter of commendation, signed by ABA leaders, to each sponsoring organization that reports on its Honor Roll program. The ABA will provide the reporting sponsor with a template letter of congratulations for students being recognized. The sponsoring organization and its Civics & Law Honor Roll will also be featured in the ABA Division for Public Education's electroic newsletter, Law Matters.
The American Bar Association has developed recommended selection criteria for the Civics & Law Honor Roll. Selection of participating students is at the discretion of sponsoring organizations.