Upcoming Events and Activities
We the People State Competition, January 2018

James Madison Legacy Project Spring Professional Development Program
May 2018
New Orleans, LA

Recent Events and Activities

Attorney Mary Dumestre visiting students at Joseph J. Davies Elementary in Meraux, La. in Observance of Constitution Day.

The Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education partnered with Arkansas educators to organize the James Madison Legacy Project, a teachers’ workshop for civics education, funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Supporting Effective Educator Development program.  Louisiana teachers traveled to the University of Central Arkansas for a six-day teachers’ workshop on the We the People civics curriculum. LCLCE Director Peggy Cotogno and two Louisiana We the People teaching mentors, Chris Totaro and Jamie Staub, also attended the program. Seen here are teachers and mentors at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.

The Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies We the People State Championship Team with Guest Speaker Rep. Walter "Walt" J. Leger, III and team teacher Chris Totaro.

The 2016 recipient of the Judge Benjamin Jones Judges in the Classroom Award  is Judge Randall J. Bethancourt, 32nd JDC. From left, LCLCE President Larry Centola, Bethancourt and Louisiana District Judges Association President Marilyn Castle.

View LCLCE slide show of recent events and activities:

Court Administrator and President of the Conference of  State Court Administrators and vice-chair of the NCSC Board of Directors.

The LCLCE is a member of the Louisiana Commission on Civic Education enacted into law by the Louisiana Legislature in 2003.The Commission was created to educate students in the community and schools on the importance of citizen involvement in a representative democracy and to promote communication and collaboration among organizations in the state that conduct civic education programs.

Why is Civic Education Important?

Studies show that:

  • Only 25% of students at upper elementary and secondary levels are proficient in civics and government. (National Assessment of Educational Progress)
  • Less than 20% of voters aged 18-25 voted in the last presidential campaign. (National Association of Secretaries of State)
  • 94% of youth surveyed believe, "the most important thing I can do as a citizen is to help others."
  • Non-political voluntarism among youth has increased while political voluntarism has decreased.

Who Supports Our Work?

The LCLCE partners with several entities, including the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Bar Foundation as well as various private and public grants. The LCLCE also partners with schools, state and federal courts and law enforcement agencies.

What is Law & Civic Education?

It is instruction that teaches about legal rights, responsibilities, and the role of the responsible citizen - the fourth "R"- and has students practice application of that teaching to potential real - life situations. It is essentially a critical thinking, problem-solving approach to education built around the civic content of rules, laws, and the legal system. Law and Civic Education provides an opportunity for students to foster bonds with representatives of the legal system and the overall community.

If Liberty and Equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will only be attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. Aristotle

Who Are We?

The Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education (LCLCE) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that coordinates, implements and develops Law and Civic Education programs, trains others in the delivery of Law and Civic Education and assists with the delivery of quality Law and Civic Education programs throughout the State of Louisiana. It is the educational arm of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

LCLCE programs are nationally recognized and conform to the State of Louisiana's Social Studies Content Standards. LCLCE lesson plans and programs are interactive and self-motivating. The LCLCE makes Law and Civic Education come alive in the classroom.

Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education was presented with the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for the Advancement of Civic Education at the Conference of Chief Justice/Conference of State Court Administrators Annual Conference in St. Louis on July 24, 2012.

Press Release

Sandra Day O'Connor Letter

Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education

James Madison Legacy Project Fall Professional Development Program
Friday, October 13- Sunday, October 15, 2017
New Orleans, LA

Lawyers in the Classroom/ Judges in the Classroom

Constitution Day, September 2017

Justice Catherine D. Kimball Summer Institute  
James Madison Legacy Project/We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution
July 16 – July 21, 2017
University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas

Lawyers in the Classroom/ Judges in the Classroom

Law Day, May 2017 

We the People National Competition
April 21-24, 2017
Washington, D.C

Louisiana School Board Annual Convention
February 9-11, 2017
New Orleans, La.

We the People State Competition

Loyola University
New Orleans, LA
January 28, 2017

Presentation of President’s Award for Outstanding Civics Teacher
Presentation of Civics in Action Award for Outstanding Student
Louisiana State Bar Association MidYear Meeting
Baton Rouge, LA
January 20, 2017

James Madison Legacy Project – We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution
Professional Development for Social Studies Teachers
Thomas S. Vontz, Ph.D., Professor and Director Center for Social Studies Education, Kansas State University
New Orleans, LA
October 8, 2016 and October 22, 2016

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LCLCE Board member Judge Wendell Manning, center, receiving the prestigious Sandra Day O’Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education at the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators held in St. Louis. The presentation was made by Eric T. Washington, Chief Judge of the District of Columbia and president of the Conference of Chief Justices  and Rosalyn W. Frierson, South Carolina State