Judge Justin Hansen Awarded Illinois Bar Association Civic Education Award

Judge Hansen Has Helped Educate Hundreds of Students about the Judiciary Since His Appointment

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL – Since being unanimously appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve the residents of McHenry County, Judge Justin Hansen has become a leading voice for the judiciary throughout McHenry County, especially when it comes to civics education for area students.

Judge Hansen was recently given the Civics Education Award by the Illinois State Bar Association. The ISBA Civics Education Award is designed to annually honor individuals who have helped educate the public about civics, our judicial system, and the role of attorneys in society.

Judge Hansen said, “I’m truly honored to receive this award. It has always been my passion to give back to my community, even before I became a judge. I deeply believe in the value of civics education. Our teachers do a great job preparing students to meaningfully participate in the civic process. I’m happy to help supplement that by engaging with the students about the law, the court system, and the judiciary. It’s important that this includes what’s close to home — I want the students to learn about our local government by seeing and hearing from local public officials. 

“This is a well-deserved recognition of Judge Hansen’s commitment to stronger civics education for our next generation of engaged citizens,” said McHenry County resident Andy Conneen, a nationally recognized AP U.S. Government teacher who annually appears on C-Span to help students study for their AP exams.

Over the past year, Judge Hansen visited hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students in 17 classes at 9 different McHenry County schools. He presented in person until the pandemic hit, and then switched to remote presentations. Additionally, Judge Hansen presented about the judicial system and legal topics to area organizations, including the McHenry County Task Force on Aging, CASA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Rotary Club of Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers.  

With children returning to school in the coming days with in-person and remote learning, Judge Justin Hansen is looking forward to continuing his work with students throughout McHenry County. Hansen noted, “Our courthouse has been a leader in finding ways to continue our courtroom work during this pandemic, and I will continue to work with students and their teachers virtually or when possible in person.”

John Pellikan, a Social Science teacher at Prairie Ridge High School, said of Judge Hansen’s presentation: “Justin demonstrated a sincere and earnest desire to make a positive impact on our students. He went above and beyond in graciously giving his time and was able to connect with our students to help make the curriculum come alive and be more relevant for students.”