Civic Education Distance Learning Resources

Law Day is an annual celebration held on May 1 to acknowledge the importance of the rule of law in the United States. The theme of Law Day 2020 is the celebration of the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which recognized women’s right to vote. Click here for Law Day distance learning resources.

Resources about the U.S. federal courts:
To help inform the public about the U.S. legal system and government, the United States federal courts have developed a series of brief YouTube tutorials. These videos cover topics including separation of powers, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law. Other videos demonstrate the role of the courts in public life and how judges reach their decisions.

For more civic education distance learning resources, please click here.

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The federal judiciary is one of the three branches of the national government. It seeks to provide the fair and effective administration of justice for all persons and interests, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or status. Federal courts and their state court counterparts provide a means for settling disputes peacefully, and help to foster democratic governance, consistent with the Constitution's goals of "justice" and "domestic tranquility." Those who founded our government recognized the critical importance of an independent national judiciary with a limited but essential role.



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News & Announcements

During Women’s History Month the Second Circuit is proud to recognize the accomplishments of the women who have served on the federal bench. This exhibit highlights several current and former women judges with connections to our courts.

During Black History Month and beyond, we invite you to visit the Justice for All: Courts and the Community Learning Center to learn about some of the famous judges from the courts of the Second Circuit.

December 5, 2019 - A team from James Madison High School from Brooklyn won the final round of the 35th annual Metropolitan MENTOR Moot Court competition at the U.S Court of Appeals in lower Manhattan yesterday. Since the 1980’s, the Justice Resource Center has partnered with Fordham Law School to offer the MENTOR Moot Court competition to NYC high schools. Read more here (password may be required).

News Archive


A Conversation with Judge Deborah A. Batts

With Hon. Deborah A. Batts, Hon. J. Paul Oetken, Hon. Alison J. Nathan, and Hon. Pamela K. Chen.

Constance Baker Motley, James Meredith, and The University of Mississippi

Clips of the reenactment performed at the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse.

2017 National High School Mock Trial Championship

Sponsored by Civics First and hosted at the US Courthouse in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Mock Trial of Nat Turner

A mock trial by students from the Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School in the Chambers of Judge Shelley Chapman at the US Bankruptcy Court.


Courthouse Visits

Programs featuring courthouse tours, presentations about the architecture and history of ourcourthouses, and presentations by judges and staff about the federal courts, including their probation and pre-trial services departments, and also partners, including the U.S. Marshal Service, U.S. Attorney's Office, and Federal Defenders.

Civic Education

Collaborating with the Justice Resource Center and New York City Department of Education to enhance education regarding the role of courts in civic life, as well as law-focused courses for high school students, professional development programs for teachers, and the general social studies curriculum for NYC public high school students. Outside NYC, collaborating with bar and law firm mentorship, moot appellate court and mock trial programs for high school students.

Student Contests

Moot appellate court, mock trial, and essay contests developed circuit-wide for middle and high school students, including advocacy programs at the Central Islip courthouse and a mentor moot court competition program in Nassau County.

Reenactments - Historic Courtroom Theater

Reenactments of historic court cases. These are a means of educating the public about important historic cases that are still of significance today. We provide a mechanism for teachers, students, lawyers, and other members of the public to learn about these cases and obtain materials for presenting the reenactments.

Civic Ceremonies

Programs for Law Day and Constitution Day celebrations, including naturalization program for Constitution Day.


Coordinating community speaking events for judges, professors, lawyers, and scholars about the legal profession and the work of the courts.

Adult Education

Developing financial education programs on consumer bankruptcy and consumer credit, including expanding the Credit Abuse Resistance Educaton (CARE) program and forming panels of lawyer educators to partner with judges for presentations on financial literacy at a wide variety of locations and organizations.

Contact Us

  • U.S. Court of Appeals Library
    Thurgood Marshall
    U.S. Courthouse
    40 Foley Square
    New York, NY 10007

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    (212) 857-8930