Civics Education Program Agreement & Planning Guide

Please complete by February 22, 2019

If your chapter would like to host a James Otis Lecture Series® or Teachers Law School® in 2019, please review the program guidelines below and complete the agreement form at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions, please contact Molly McDonald at or (214) 239-0215.

Program Descriptions

The Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates believes that teachers are the primary guardians of democracy. Through their knowledge and skills, they teach the next generation about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Recognizing the integral role that education plays in the defense of liberty, the ABOTA Foundation has created resources and opportunities for teachers and students to grow in their knowledge of the Constitution, the judicial system and civic engagement.

The James Otis Lecture Series® provides a high-quality civic learning experience for high school students. The lectures focus on the Constitution and are presented by scholars, judges and ABOTA members. Students are encouraged to interact with the experts, ask questions and seek solutions for constitutional issues that exist today. The JOL program model is flexible. Chapters can work with the Civics Education Director at the ABOTA National Office to design a program model that fits the needs of the students in your area.

The Teachers Law School® is a program designed for middle and high school educators with an interest in prioritizing civics and law-related education in the classroom. The TLS sessions provide teachers with valuable civics and law-related education content to help students better understand and appreciate the value, relevance and impact of the Constitution, our system of government and citizenship. The TLS program model is flexible. Chapters can work with the Civics Education Director at the ABOTA National Office to design a training that addresses the needs of educators in your community.

Use of Program Names

James Otis Lecture Series®, Teachers Law School® and their affiliated logos are registered trademarks of the Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Regional and local chapters of ABOTA may request to host these programs using the enclosed form. Only authorized programs are permitted to use the names of the programs and logos on all material. All marketing and program publications must be approved by the Foundation. Program agendas must also be submitted to the Foundation.

Host Organization Responsibilities

The ABOTA Foundation encourages chapters and regional organizations to host civics education programs as a way to connect with their communities, further the mission of the organization, and promote civic awareness. These programs are intended to be free educational programs for educators and students and should not be used as a revenue source for the organization. Host organizations are responsible for all costs pertaining to the program, including but not limited to: facilities, speakers, program materials, catering and registration materials. The Foundation offers as-needed planning and content support, marketing and attendee giveaways as requested by the host organization. The Foundation also requests that host organizations communicate with National Office regarding scheduled program dates and program agendas.

For more information, please download the Civics Education Programs and Outreach Planning Guide.