The Florida Bar
Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education
|“Benchmarks: Raising the Bar on Civics Education” is Florida Bar program that offers attorneys activities they can use to talk about government and the courts when they are invited to speak to adult civic and community groups. This is a critical mission for The Florida Bar. An informed public is the best defense of a vigorous democracy, the rule of law and a fair and impartial judiciary. Overviews and supporting materials for all Benchmarks activities are available online. They are grouped into three categories: Constitution and the Bill of Rights; Courts and the Judicial Branch; and Special Topics. Attorneys who become trained in Benchmarks — by watching the webinar or attending a seminar — are eligible to earn CLE credits. Presenters can earn one ethics credit hour for each presentation for up to three presentations in a three-year reporting period. Sign up with the Speakers Bureau to learn about presentation opportunities.|
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- News and Events
Benchmark Activities: Request a Speaker and Become a Speaker
News and Events
Informed Voters-Fair Judges Project
The Florida Bar is pleased to announce its partnership with the Informed Voters-Fair Judges Project of the National Association of Women Judges. The project focuses on increasing the knowledge of citizens regarding the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary. Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente serves as state coordinating committee chairperson for the initiative.
"Fair and Free"
Please take a few minutes to watch the "Fair and Free" video, introduced U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.), about the only branch of government devoted to fairness. Script of Fair and Free
IVP Public service radio announcement
Listen to the "Fair and Free" radio announcement that Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.) recorded for the National Association of Women Judges Informed Voters Project.
(Text of Fair and Free audio available.)
Constitution and the Bill of Rights
Activities in this category examine the process of amending Florida's Constitution and the limited role the courts have in that process; the method by which a judge would weigh a law whose constitutionality is being challenged in court; the rights included in the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Courts and the Judicial Branch
Benchmark activities in this category include explorations of the way labels are used to explain judicial decisions; how judges approach making their rulings and the factors they must consider; how judges are elected in Florida and how Florida's merit selection/retention process works.
Benchmark activities in this category include testing participants' basic knowledge about the structure and function of the government as well as an examination of voting practices historically and currently in the United States.
Request a Speaker or Become a Speaker
To request a speaker for your group, please fill out the online request form. The Benchmarks topics are listed below on this page.
Attorneys can become Benchmarks speakers by watching the online webinar (29 minutes). When training is completed, contact Susannah Lyle, firstname.lastname@example.org, and sign up with The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau. Presenters can earn one ethics credit hour for each presentation for up to three presentations in a three-year reporting period. Form to apply for credit.