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Civics Outreach Program

Our Court is pleased to invite teachers throughout our district to participate in our civics outreach program. Through this program, we hope to help your students learn more about the civil and criminal cases that we hear and to encourage your students to explore the many ways in which they can one day work in our federal judicial system.

Teachers, we invite you to register your classes for a tour of one of our courthouses. You may select a civil case tour that walks students from the clerk’s office to the courtroom or a criminal case tour that walks students from our Grand Jury area to the courtroom.

We also offer a mock trial exercise called CD3 that helps students appreciate not only the skills necessary to present persuasive legal arguments but also the tools essential to civil discourse. We know that a trip to a courthouse is not always feasible, so we can host the CD3 exercise remotely with your students through Zoom. The remote option is a wonderful way for your students to engage with judges and lawyers during a class period.

To register for a courthouse tour or a CD3 session, please contact Marlena Shipp at

Finally, on this webpage, we offer links to video materials that federal judges have produced to promote civics education. Several links appear below. Please visit this page periodically to review new videos as they become available.

Video links:

Civics Fundamentals is Judge Douglas Ginsburg’s set of 100 two-minute videos addressing the 100 question on the naturalization test. These videos explain the reasons behind the answers to the test.  The videos are available with Spanish subtitles.

A More or Less Perfect Union.  Hosted by Judge Douglas Ginsburg, this video series explores contentious issues in American history and today through the lens of the U.S. Constitution.  The series consists of three episodes; each episode lasts one hour. 

Meet the Framers: General Washington and Dr. Franklin.  These videos feature Judge Douglas Ginsburg in conversations with the Founding Fathers of our Constitution.  Each video lasts 40 minutes.

Becoming Equal Under the Law (33 min.) and First Amendment (17 min.) are educational videos for grades 7-12 hosted by Judge Ginsburg. 

Oral Histories - Produced by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, the judges and lawyers in these videos recount some of the important developments in the law in our state.