Documents/ABADPE/4: Encouragement and Recognition

4: Encouragement and Recognition

Establish mechanisms that encourage and recognize individuals and institutions for advancing public understanding of law.

Other Information:

"Many key institutions, groups, and individuals in American society are engaged in providing the public with information about the law. Among these are educators, bar associations, the judiciary, legal professionals, schools and colleges, communications media, and civic organizations. To further our mission, we should continue to encourage and recognize exemplary public education activities. In this way, we leverage our own resources by facilitating other efforts in support of our mission, promote public awareness of their accomplishments, and help "consumers" of public education identify worthy products and services.Incentive awards and seed grants, for example, can provide critical support to individuals, groups, and organizations. The ABA’s prestigious Silver Gavel Award program annually recognizes all types of communications media that have been exemplary in fostering the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. The highly regarded Isidore Starr Award regularly recognizes a leader in law-related education who has had a significant impact in elementary and secondary education. We also recognize outstanding Law Day activities conducted each year at the local level, sponsor a photography competition for young people, and present the annual Judge Edward R. Finch Award for the nation’s best speech for Law Day.In addition, the Division provides small grants to schools, colleges, bar associations, and community/civic groups to support and recognize innovative public education projects. Finally, in seeking and disseminating information about other worthy public education projects about law through our clearinghouse, we also provide recognition for their efforts. Through mechanisms such as these, the ABA identifies, validates, and publicizes outstanding efforts to advance public understanding of law.The Division will continue to increase the outreach and publicity for current awards and incentive programs so as to enhance their impact. We will identify new mechanisms that encourage and recognize institutions and individuals for advancing public understanding of law. For instance, the Division can encourage state bars to sponsor communications media and Law Day activity awards programs, if they do not already do so. We can make better use of the World Wide Web to set up hyperlinks, where possible, to sites representing award-winning and other exemplary programs and products (e.g., a local bar or community group that received a Law Day activity award; a Gavel Award-winning newspaper, a television program, or a Web site; and a college or civic organization awarded a mini-grant for a public education project about law). Finally, we can serve as a resource to other groups and individuals engaged in public education about the law in evaluating their own programs’ success and replicability, thereby improving their capacity for gaining recognition.