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March 30, 2020

Local Civics and Law Academies

What is a Civics and Law Academy?

A "Civics and Law Academy" engages young people of middle school and high school age in learning about law and society. The purpose of an Academy is to prepare young people to be participants in our democratic society. In an Academy, knowledgeable, civically active adults share their expertise, experience, and enthusiasm for civic engagement with young participants. Academies may be conducted by lawyers, judges, teachers, youth workers, or other civic leaders. Each Civics and Law Academy provides participants with a minimum of eight (8) hours of curricular focus. As an Academy organizer, you may arrange your instructional hours to suit your specific situation. For example, an Academy may consist of four (4) two hour sessions or two (2) four hour sessions, or it might be planned as an overnight retreat to accommodate the time required.

Choosing Your Curriculum

          - Pathway 1 Lesson Sampler  

         - Pathway 2 Lesson Sampler

          - Pathway 3 Lesson Sampler

          - Pathway 4 Lesson Sampler

          - Pathway 5 Lesson Sampler

          - Pathway 6 Lesson Sampler

To aid Civics and Law Academy leaders, the ABA is offering a free online Resource Guide that will draw upon the best available lessons and activities produced by local, state and national law-related and civic education programs. The Guide includes ABA lessons as well as those contributed by organizations throughout the nation.

If you are a producer of noteworthy civic or law-related education materials, we invite you to contribute your lessons and activities to the Resource Guide. We encourage you to submit multiple lessons.

We are especially looking for lessons and activities that:

  • Present law and civics-related topics accurately, neutrally, fairly and from multiple perspectives
  • Are suitable for use with young people by lawyers, judges, other legal professionals as well as educators
  • Feature interactive instructional approaches and/or deliberative discussions based on reasoned arguments