From the Field: Law-Related Education as a Branch of Civics Education in the United States


  • Latia Ward University of Virginia School of Law



Law-related education is “education to equip nonlawyers with knowledge and skills pertaining to the law, the legal process and the legal system, and the fundamental principles and values on which these are based.” Law-related education is a branch of civics education although there is overlap between law-related topics and civics topics because both areas include the study of the Bill of Rights, the study of the function of government institutions, and the study of one’s rights with respect to voting, jury duty, etc. Often, the terms law-related education and civics education are used interchangeably. However, there is a trend for law-related education to be associated with violence prevention. In this article, I provide an overview of the origin of law-related education, a discussion of a law-related education program that I developed for K-12 students, my reflections on implementing the program, key resources that I found during my planning, an overview of state laws that address K-12 law-related and civics education requirements, an analysis of North Carolina’s civics education requirement, and an overview of civics education programs outside the K-12 classroom.

Author Biography

Latia Ward, University of Virginia School of Law

Research Librarian at the Arthur J. Morris Law Library of the University of Virginia School of Law






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