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Cornerstones of Democracy Resources

Examples of state and local bar programming that foster civil discourse in our communities

In a time of deep division, escalating distrust in our democratic institutions and increasing incivility in public discourse, ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross recently noted, “The legal community has the resources and ability to meet the challenges that confront the nation.”

We know you’ve been talking about this for some time, and some of you are already putting the Cornerstones of Democracy Conversation Guide into real-world practice.  Below, we share some of these initiatives and elevate these efforts as we collectively tackle ongoing challenges to democracy.

Community Dialogue

Working alone or with community partners, bars around the country are seeking to engage in dialogue within their membership, the legal profession and their local communities.

Community Meets Judges: Judicial Election Resources

Judicial forums allow the legal profession to engage in dialogue with the community. Rather than a debate, these forums are an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the court system and the rule of law as well as the qualities and qualifications of individual judge candidates.

Other state and local bars partner with community organizations; for example:

Innovating and Prioritizing Through Bar Leadership

Programming starts with prioritizing and agenda setting by leadership.  

Educational Programs/Speaker Series

Educational programs may or may not offer CLE credit, and may be for members only or open to the public. They are designed both to inform and inspire action on the part of the participants. 

Other bars are enticing lawyers to programs focused on community dialogue and civics by offering CLE credit:

Other ABA Resources

The ABA Center for Bar Leadership may be your main ABA "home," but there are many other resources available to you throughout the organization.