Civics Education

Take a field trip to select federal courthouses to learn about the federal judiciary in person as well as the local history of the courthouse. New window to Courthouse Tours PDF.
Courts across our circuit host speakers and events in the courtroom and in the classroom. Learn how to request and attend events. New window to Speakers and Events PDF.
District courts across our circuit host contests specifically designed for students to explore a topic within the judiciary to further learning. New window to Student Contests PDF.
High school students, law students, and attorneys can participate in the mock trial events happening in the courts of the Fifth Circuit. New window to Mock Trials PDF.
The ceremony is the final step in the path to U.S. citizenship for foreign citizens or nationals. Teachers can get their students involved—learn how! New window to Naturalization Ceremonies PDF.
Discover why the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, is important and how it impacts your life every day. New window to the Library of Congress webpage about Bill of Rights Day.
A day to recognize the day in 1787 when the cornerstone of United States law was signed. Find out what courts do to acknowledge this day. New window to Constitution Day PDF.
Learn about this special day which recognizes the role of law in our society and its importance to our country. New window to Law Day PDF.
Our courts recognize heritage months and their celebration of diversity. Learn more about the annual observances using law-related resources. New window to the United States Courts webpage about heritage months.
Learn about financial literacy for young people through activities that students can use on their own or along with teachers, judges, and attorneys. New window to the United States Courts webpage about Bill of financial literacy.
Teachers! Bring new significance to civics education for your students with these helpful resources—all in one place. New window to Civics Tools for Teachers PDF.
Judges! Find inspiration and ready-made resources for civics education activities in the classroom and the courtroom. New window to Civics Tools for Judges PDF.
Attorneys! Get involved with civics education using these ready-made resouces. New window to Civics Tools for Attorneys PDF.

Civics Events

High school students in South Texas participate in a six-week program interning at federal and state courthouses and take interactive classes.
The focus of the federal judiciary’s 2023 Law Day is civility in the law and in life. Celebrate on May 1 with these events and program resources. New window to the United States Courts webpage about Law Day.
High school students met with Judge Higginson and watched oral arguments at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana. New window to Students Attend Oral Argument PDF.
Northern District of Texas judges, state judges, and attorneys read children’s books that were video recorded and distributed to area classrooms. New wndow to NDTX Reading with Judges PDF.
High school students in Southeast Texas participate in the annual Eastern District of Texas Law Day Art Contest. The 2023 contest is open! New window to the Eastern District of Texas court webpage about the Law Day Art Contest.
The state of Mississippi named October as Civics Awareness Month. Read more in the Governor’s Proclamation. New window to Mississippi Civics Proclamation PDF.

Federal Judiciary

Learn how the U.S. Constitution created the three branches of government and how the federal judiciary serves as a co-equal branch. New window to Three Branches of Government PDF.
Find out what the requirements are for a case to be heard in federal court instead of state court. New window to Federal Jurisdicton PDF.
Discover the different courts that make up the federal court system and their hierarchy. New window to Federal Court System PDF.
Check out maps detailing the federal circuit and district boundaries across the country and within the Fifth Circuit. New window to Court Boundaries PDF.
What are the differences between state and federal courts and why do some cases take place in federal court while others are in state court? New window to the United States Courts webpage about comparing federal and state courts.

Court Operations

Explore the distinct settings and people that make up the courtroom where a trial or oral argument takes place. New window to Inside the Courtroom PDF.
Not all cases are about the same issue. Learn about the various kinds of cases that wind their way through federal courts. New window to the United States Courts webpage about types of federal cases.
Find out where a case opinion, a judge’s ruling, or a case record is located online and in print. New window to How to Find a Case PDF.
In the federal appeals courts, briefs and oral arguments take the place of witnesses and trials, but how do they work and how can you attend them? New window to Oral Arguments PDF.
Learn about the role of the robe. What role do judges play in the different courts throughout the federal judiciary? New window to The Role of a Judge PDF.
Gain insight into the important position that everyday citizens have in deciding the outcome of a trial. New window to the United States Courts webpage about jury service.
United States Attorneys are appointed by the President and are tasked with enforcing federal laws in each of the 94 federal districts. New window to the United States Department of Justice webpage about United States attorneys.
Find out about those attorneys who assist and represent individuals who are on trial for breaking a federal law. New window to the United States Courts webpage about defender services.
Discover the vital importance of Court Interpreters who assist people who do not speak English when they are involved in a court case. New window to Interpreters PDF.
Explore the office responsible for insuring individuals recently released from prison follow the requirements set out for their release. New window to the United States Courts webpage about probation and pretrial services.
Federal court law libraries assist judges and judiciary employees with locating information about the law and beyond. And they can help you too! New window to Law Libraries PDF.
A glossary of common terms used in the courtroom and in case documents. New window to Court Terms Glossary PDF.

Court History

Discover the history behind this rare event that divided the original Fifth Circuit to create an additional circuit. New window to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals webpage about the Fifth Circuit split.
Look at a visualization of when judgeships were created in the circuit and who took over each seat as time moved on. New window to the Federal Judicial Center webpage showing the Fifth Circuit succession chart.
Fifth Circuit Chief Judges have the opportunity to wear a different robe for special occasions. Read about the history of the red robe. New window to The Ceremonial Red Robe PDF.
Learn about the history of the Judicial Conference of the United States with this Timeline created for the 100th Anniversary of the Conference. New window to the Federal Judicial Center webpage about the judicial conference.

Educational Resources

Get informed and inspired by the many educational activities available from the United States Courts website. New window to the United States Court website.
The National Archives houses important U.S. documents. Their civics education initiative offers resources and programs using the founding documents. New window to the National Archives Civics for All of US webpage.
Research and education are the focus of this agency within the federal judiciary. It also provides valuable information and publications to the public. New window to the Federal Judicial Center website.
The Supreme Court Historical Society (SCHS) has court-focused civics education resources for students and teachers on their website and on their YouTube. New window to the Supreme Court Historical Society webpage about civics education.
That National Constitution Center created an interactive U.S. Constitution for all to learn about the text, history, and meaning of the document. New window to the National Constitution Center website.
The Civics Renewal Network is an alliance of 37 nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that provide free online classroom resources for civics education. New window to the Civics Renewal Network website.
Founded by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, iCivics is a non-profit source for civic education online. New window to the iCivics website.
The National Center for State Courts works to improve state court administration. Their civics education resources are for parents, teachers, and courts. New window to the National Center for State Courts website.
The Civics 101 podcast is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio that aims to educate about all things civics and our democracy. New window to the Civics 101 podcast website.
Via Instagram and her podcast, Sharon McMahon became known as “America’s Government Teacher” in 2020. Non-partisan civics education. New window to the Sharon McMahan website.

Courts and Bars

The Supreme Court of Louisiana is composed of seven justices from seven districts. The courthouse is located in New Orleans. New window to the Louisiana Supreme Court website.
The Supreme Court of Mississippi is composed of nine justices from three districts. The courthouse is located in Jackson. New window to the Mississippi Supreme Court website.
The Texas Supreme Court is the highest court for civil matters while the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest court for criminal matters. New window to the Texas Supreme Court website.
Organization for attorneys who practice in federal courts along with members of the judiciary. The FBA also offers resources and programs for students. New window to the Federal Bar Association website.
The Bar Association for the Fifth Federal Circuit (BAFFC) is an organization for attorneys who are eligible to practice before the Fifth Circuit. New window to the BAFFC website.
The American Bar Association provides attorneys with resources on civics education - everything from articles to activities.
The State Bar of Texas attorney-members host and participate in civics and legal education events for the public. New window to the State Bar of Texas website.
The Smith County Bar Association in Tyler, Texas, hosts Mock Trial competitions and a Law Day art and essay contest for students. New window to the Smith County Bar Association website.
The Houston Young Lawyers Association (HYLA) offers civics education events for area students and scholarships to diverse law students. New window to the Houston Young Lawyers Association website.
Last update: 3/4/2024