Law Day was Sunday, May 1st, but the celebration continues! Every year the American Bar Association (ABA) designates May 1st as Law Day, a day to celebrate the rule of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession. This year’s Law Day theme is “Advancing the Rule of Law Now.” The rule of law is the bedrock of American rights and liberties—in times of calm and unrest alike. The 2021 Law Day theme reminds all of us that we the people share the responsibility to promote the rule of law, defend liberty, and pursue justice. You can read the Presidental Proclamation regarding law day on the ABA website.
To kick off the Law Day celebrations, the ABA hosted a free virtual program last Thursday, April 29th, from 12:30 – 2:00 pm PST, titled “Advancing the Rule of Law Now: a Global Perspective.” You can view this program on ABA’s Division for Public Education YouTube Channel. This program explores the rule of law from an international perspective, specifically, the role of the United States within the international rule of law landscape.
But, that is not the ABA’s only Law Day program! They have another FREE Law Day webinar on Wednesday, May 12th at 3:00 pm PST, titled Advancing the Rule of Law Now: Access and Accountability, A Call to Action. The program discussion will explore the rule of law through contemporary lenses of access and accountability in the United States, to delve into issues of “now.” These could include access to justice, access to opportunity, access to public good or services under law, guaranteeing of rights. The discussion might also explore the accountability of elected officials, public officials, law enforcement officers, citizens. Finally, the discussion could offer ways for citizens, lawyers, society, to advance the rule of law today.
The United States Courts have created a fantastic video featuring federal judges from all over the country speaking on the rule of law and its importance in our society. They have also compiled a list of resources on the rights protected by the rule of law. These resources were created for educators to use in classroom settings, but the video is moving (and short)!
The California Lawyers Association is celebrating both Law Day and Mental Health Awareness Month by working with the Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL) to create a week of free virtual events to boost mental health in the legal profession they are calling “2021 Well-Being Week in Law.” You can learn about these events and register at either the California Lawyers Association website or the Institute for Well-Being in Law website.
Locally, the San Diego County Bar Association is celebrating Law Day at the Annual Awards Ceremony and Celebration of Community Service. This free event will take place on Friday, May 21st from 12 pm – 1:15 pm. It honors individuals who have provided exemplary service in the San Diego legal community, and the winners of the Law Week Poster and Video Contest will be announced, as well. The Law Week Poster and Video Contest is a competition for students in grades K-12. But, please note, the submission period for the contest closed on April 30, 2021.
We highly recommend tuning into this free event. Not only is it a great party, it also spotlights exemplary individuals and their contributions to our legal community. This year SDCBA choose to honor our retiring director, John Adkins, and two true friends of the law library, the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s retiring director, Elaine Lawrence, and the North County Bar Association’s retiring director, Mary Silva, with Distinguished Citizen Awards for their outstanding contributions over a period of time have had significant favorable impacts on the legal system, the legal community, or civics education. We hope to see you there, and HAPPY LAW DAY!