The transition away from summer and into full-swing academia will be a little easier for select high schoolers who will soon explore the State Capitol and meet one of America’s leading historians. On September 17, 2015—recognized as Constitution Day—the Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates will host its fourth annual James Otis Lecture featuring a talk by historian and professor H.W. Brands and will also include a tour of the Capitol’s House and Senate chambers and a lunch and book signing at the nearby historic First United Methodist Church.

Teachers, parents, or friends can nominate a high school student to attend the daylong event. These James Otis scholars will receive free copies of Brands’s new book, Reagan: The Life. Brands, a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has authored 25 books, two of which were selected as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

“Dr. Brands is a world-class author who gives life to historical figures,” said Judge Jim Parsons, a former TEX-ABOTA president. “He shares not only his knowledge but his passion for history, and he relates to the students on a very personal basis.”

School districts, Tex-ABOTA chapters, and members pay to transport the students to downtown Austin, which Parsons said “is the perfect place for this event. Many, if not most, of our students have never visited the State Capitol. On Constitution Day, the students sit at the representatives’ desks in the well of the House.”

Email Cay Dickson at for more information on nominations, which are being accepted until August 28. More information on the event is also available at