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March 22, 2021

Students to participate in first virtual ABA National Civics and Law Academy

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2021 – Thirty-six high school students from across the nation were selected to participate in the 2021 Virtual National Civics and Law Academy for eight weeks. The 8th annual academy  will be held virtually because of the pandemic.

The program will provide students with a behind-the-scenes view of the law, government and the justice system.

“We are excited about this year’s NCLA and welcome our participating students for this wonderful experience working with leaders in the legal profession, government and peers from across the nation to learn about the law, government and the justice system,” said Patricia Lee, chair of the Standing Committee on Public Education. “Although this year's Academy will occur ‘virtually,’ we think this opportunity will still offer the students a chance to engage up close with the law and will also help develop citizenship and leadership skills."

The academy was established to give students the opportunity to meet with legal experts and leaders and see the three branches of government at work. It also functions to help the students gain a broader understanding of their roles as active and engaged citizens.

Each week, students will view and participate in a panel discussion and learn about some aspect of the law. They also will explore the various career paths of lawyers who work in private practice, government, public policy and international relations. The students will have a conversation with judges and the legal staff and leaders at embassies.

In April, students will have a discussion with the education staff at the U.S. Department of State’s National Museum of American Democracy to explore the role legal professionals play in international relations and the various skills involved in negotiations. The students will participate in a mock international relations simulation on a migration crisis.

High school students from Washington, D.C., New Hampshire, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Idaho, California, Maryland, Hawaii, Florida, Washington state, Oregon, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina, will participate. The student selection process was based on teacher nominations and recommendations.

More information on the 2021 National Civics and Law Academy is available here.

The mission of the ABA Division for Public Education is to promote public understanding of law and its role in society.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.