Civics education plays a vital role in maintaining a strong democracy. To become an active participant in society, we must understand how government works. As one of the three branches of government, the judiciary reflects the core values of American democracy while acting as one of its essential pillars. Recognizing this, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada is committed to fostering a greater public understanding about the role of the judiciary. To this end, the Nevada District Court Civic Education Committee is committed to bringing attention to the everyday impact of the courts and the Constitution on the lives of students, teachers, parents and the broader public. The Civic Education Committee participates in and promotes the following programs:
- Ninth Circuit Essay Contest
The United States District Court for the District of Nevada conducts a local essay contest each year where high school students in the state of Nevada write about the role of the federal judiciary in safeguarding constitutional rights. Each year students write about a constitutional topic chosen by the Ninth Circuit. Local contest winners in each category receive prizes of $1,000 for 1st place, $750 for 2nd place, and $500 for 3rd place. The local winners move on to compete with other district finalists at the Ninth Circuit level.
- Middle School Civic Creative Expression Contest
This contest encourages middle school students to use artistic mediums (art, drawings, songs, photographs, poetry, etc.) to express the importance and impact of the chosen constitutional topic. Winners in each category receive prizes of $500 for 1st place, $300 for 2nd place, and $200 for 3rd place.
- Youth Law Day
In conjunction with Jobs for Nevada Graduates (J4NG), the court’s program exposes at risk students to public service careers in the criminal justice system leading to a sustainable future. A panel composed of attorneys, probation officers, crime scene investigators, and others discuss the different career paths and opportunities available in each of their fields while addressing the importance of public service. Following the presentation, students enter a competition in which they identify a career of interest, the steps they must take to be a part of that field (with a specific plan of action to accomplishing each step), and the impact it will have on the community. Winners in each category receive prizes of $750 for 1st place, $500 for 2nd place, and $250 for 3rd place.
- Constitutional Law Day
Each September 17th, law professors lecture high school students on a specific constitutional issue and encourage students to engage in further discussions through questions and answers.
- Ask the Experts Series
Nevada Center for Civic Engagement has partnered with the Nevada District Court to help with its Ask the Expert Series. The court identifies judges and attorneys to lead lectures and discussions for the different monthly topic.
Check the latest news for additional information about specific civics events