California Lawyers Association

California Lawyers Foundation and the Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative

July 2024

By Jerrilyn T. Malana
Vice President, California Lawyers Foundation 


The California Lawyers Foundation (CLF) is proud to support programs that focus on civic education and engagement, including the California judicial branch’s Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative.   

To ensure our democracy remains vibrant and strong, it is of utmost importance that the next generation be civically engaged. All students need foundational knowledge about our Constitution and the freedoms and protections it provides, and they must understand how the government works. They also need to know how laws are made and about the Rule of Law, and the important role of the courts as well as what judges and attorneys do.  

To help educate the next generation, CLF supports the Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative (POD), which is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero that works to connect with communities and educate the public about the three branches of government with a focus on the judicial branch. POD concentrates on students in grades K through 12, and provides both students and teachers with a better understanding of government, and how the role of the judicial branch sustains a fair and just democracy. POD coordinates a robust “Judges in the Classroom” program which provides civics-related lessons taught by judicial officers. POD also hosts the annual statewide Civic Learning Awards, which recognizes public schools for their outstanding efforts to engage students in civic learning. The awards are co-presented by our Chief Justice and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  

CLF is honored to partner with the Power of Democracy Civic Learning Initiative. We know that civics education prepares students to be effective citizens and active members of their communities.  Civics education also teaches students how to make informed decisions about public policy, and how to take responsible action to make positive changes.  

To learn more about the California Lawyers Foundation and support our work in civics engagement and outreach, access to justice, and equity, diversity & inclusion, please visit our website at:

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