FBA Chapters Volunteer for Federal Courts’ Civics Initiatives in 2017

FBA Chapters Volunteer for Federal Courts’ Civics Initiatives in 2017

Two National Programs – Law Day and Constitution Day – Bring Judges and Lawyers Together to Educate the Next Generation of Jurors, Judges, Lawyers, and Informed Citizens

The Federal Bar Association, under the leadership of Judge Michael Newman, of Dayton, is offering volunteers from its local chapters to help with the federal courts’ 2017 national civics initiatives – Law Day and Constitution Day.

“With the help of FBA chapters, these two long-standing programs present fresh opportunities to bring schools and their communities together to learn about the federal courts from the inside out,” said Newman. “Judges and lawyers who join forces can have a significant and lasting impact on civics education focused on the federal court system.”

The first national program of 2017 – Law Day, observed throughout May – welcomes students and others into their local federal courthouse for tours that include opportunities to meet judges, lawyers, court staff, and justice system personnel. Open Doors to Federal Courts is the theme for the courthouse tours. Law Day, which started in 1957 as a one-day observance on May 1, has evolved into a month-long opportunity for civics education. A package of age- and audience-appropriate tour activities will be posted this month the FBA’s Civics Education pages and on the federal courts’ JNet (Intranet) site.

The second national event of 2017 – Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, observed the week of Sept. 18 – brings judges and lawyers into schools ranging from elementary to law schools for naturalization ceremonies on campus. Courts Go To School for Civics is the theme of this year’s celebration the week of Sept. 18. A school how-to guide for hosting naturalization ceremonies is among the packaged program resources posted on the FBA site and the courts’ internal court sites.

“Local FBA chapters – many of which have appointed a civics liaison to work with their court – stand ready to assist judges with these and other civics education efforts,” Newman said. “However, these two programs are this year’s flagship, national initiatives because they create opportunities to teach about federal courts from the inside out.”

Want to Know More?
  • For information about the role of civics liaisons in regard to their role in this national initiative, contact the FBA’s National Civics Coordinator Joan P. Brady at joan_p_brady@ohsd.uscourts.gov
  • For information about the tour and naturalization activities, contact the federal court’s National Outreach Manager Rebecca Fanning at rebecca_fanning@ao.uscourts.gov.


Law Day/Law Month: May 2017

  • Program Description
  • Courthouse Tour Itinerary
  • Law Day Tour Activities
  • A Judge Chat and How to Conduct It

    Constitution Day and Citizenship Day
  • Program Description
  • Sample Printed Program 
  • Fact Sheet for Schools
  • Sample Letter to Host Schools re: Their Preparations 
  • Tip Sheet for Hosting a Naturalization Ceremony at a School