Take a peek at how New England Law | Boston and legal organizations all over the country are commemorating Law Day 2018.
Every year, the legal community pulls out the stops for Law Day, an annual holiday that celebrates our justice system and the rights afforded by the Constitution. Though it technically falls on May 1, Law Day festivitiesare often held throughout the spring.
Grade schools, college pre-law societies, bar associations, and other legal organizations across the country recognize Law Day with all kinds of events, from 5k runs to art contests. The American Bar Association leads the charge and sets the theme each year. (For 2018, it’s Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.)
And, of course, law schools get in on the action too. From networking receptions with alumni to volunteering opportunities to “law school prom,” it’s a time for students to celebrate the profession they’ve chosen—and it doesn’t hurt that coincides with the end of the semester either.
So what are people doing for Law Day 2018? You’ll find a full schedule of Law Week events at New England Law | Boston below, plus a sampling of the many Law Day (or week!) celebrations happening all over the United States.
2018 Law Day events around the country
- Arizona: Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law is inviting students to attend a panel discussion surrounding the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
- California: Law Day at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law will welcome prospective students to campus, with faculty mixers, info sessions, and more.
- Georgia: Mercer University School of Law is having Judge Beverly Martin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit speak at their 2018 Law Day celebration.
- Idaho: The Idaho Law Foundation is hosting its annual Law Day podcast contest for high school students, who are encouraged to work individually or in teams to create one episode on the year’s Law Day theme.
- Indiana: The University of Southern Indiana’s Pre Law Program, for its 2018 Law Day celebration, invites current students as well as high school students and members of the community, to observe oral arguments, learn more about law school, and hear a keynote speech by Dr. Stephen L. Wasby entitled "After Scalia, Now What?"
- Iowa: The Polk County Bar Association, with one of the more diverse and far-reaching Law Day contests, is inviting K–12 students to submit music, poetry, or visual art entries, as well as essays.
- Louisiana: The Baton Rouge Bar Association invited local middle and high school students to witness formal naturalization proceedings for new U.S. citizens and attend interactive sessions with judges, lawyers, and police officers. They also sponsored poster, essay, and video contests.
- Massachusetts: New England Law is celebrating Law Day 2018 with a whole week of events—see below!—culminating in a grand gala celebration: the Law Day Banquet and Barrister’s Ball, this year with Judge Thomas M. Hardiman as the keynote speaker. Judge Hardiman has also graciously invited all interested students to join him for a luncheon, hosted by the school, before the big event.
- Massachusetts: North Shore Community College invites the public to its annual free Law Day Lecture Thursday, featuring New England Law Professor and Constitutional Law expert Lawrence Friedman as keynote speaker.
- Missouri: For the University of Missouri School of Law, “Law Day” is really several days, filled with an alumni luncheon, cocktail reception, and awards ceremony for distinguished members of the legal community.
- New York: The John Jay College of Criminal Justice Pre-Law Institute’s annual Law Day features law school admissions officers, current law students, and legal professionals sharing their insights with undergraduate students considering law school.
- Pennsylvania: Wilkes University celebrates Law Day by introducing undergrads to law school, with presentations like "How to be a Successful Pre-Law and Law Student" and "I Want to be a Lawyer: What to Expect." And lunch, of course!
- Tennessee: The Chattanooga Bar Association is hosting a Law Day Breakfast. Yum.
- Texas: The Houston Bar Association, for its annual Law Week, sponsored poster and photo contests for nearby schoolchildren, had volunteers read Marshall the Courthouse Mouse at 100 elementary schools, and supported a Law Day Luncheon, among other things.
Law Day/Law Week schedule at New England Law
The New England Law Student Bar Association has been hard at work planning an incredible slew of events for Law Week 2018. Here’s what we have planned:
Monday, April 2: Mental Health Day
- All day: Mental Health Raffle for health-related items and services
- 10:00 a.m.–2:45 p.m.: Tabling for the Raffle (Stuart Street Lobby)
- 1:00–3:00 p.m.: Stress ball-making workshop (Room 303)
- 4:00–6:00 p.m.: 15-minute guided meditation sessions (Room 303)
Tuesday, April 3: Diversity Day
- 10:00–11:30 a.m.: Asian Pacific American Law Students Association table (Stuart Street Lobby)
- 1:00–2:30 p.m.: Minority Students Association table (Stuart Street Lobby)
- 2:30–4:45 p.m.: Latin American Law Students Association table (Stuart Street Lobby)
- 5:00 –7:00 p.m.: Roundtable discussion and potluck (Cherry Room)
Wednesday, April 4: Professional Day
- 12:00–1:00 p.m.: LinkedIn Event (Cherry Room): Learn how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile and get the job of your dreams
- 1:00–2:00 p.m.: Etiquette Training (Cherry Room): Etiquette matters; make sure you know the rules!
- TBA: Speed Résumé Review (Stuart Street Lobby): Let professional résumé reviewers help you get that first interview
- 4:00–5:30 p.m.: Alternative Careers with a JD (Cherry Room): There is more to earning a JD than the traditional lawyer path—come find out how much more
- 5:30–6:30 p.m.: Networking Event (Cherry Room): Speak to panelists and other legal professionals to learn what they do and ways to break into their industries
Thursday, April 5: Academia Day
- 12:00–2:00 p.m.: Academic Showcase (Room 506)
- 4:00–6:00 p.m.: Law Review Symposium (Cherry Room)
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Friday, April 6: Law Day!
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Sunday, April 8: Law Day of Service
New England Law students can sign up for three different volunteer opportunities:
- Walk MS (pre-register online with our team): Help in the fight against multiple sclerosis
- Carson Beach Cleanup with Friends of the Harborwalk: Keep this once-uninhabitable beach clean and pristine
- St. Francis House and Boston Children's Hospital (limited to five students): Serve breakfast to St. Francis House guests, then help in the Children's Hospital food pantry
After volunteering in the morning, students will return to school for lunch, where they will be making Well Wish Notes for the local Cradles to Crayons. The Notes are put in different items that they give out, like inside a coat pocket. Students will also reflect on the morning’s activities and discuss why giving back to the community is important for the legal profession.
About Law Day
Law Day was established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the original idea is credited to a lawyer named Charles S. Rhyne, who once served as Eisenhower's legal counsel as well as president of the American Bar Association. It’s not a government holiday, though it was codified.
Celebrated annually by the nation’s legal community and the general public, Law Day promotes awareness of our country’s laws and justice system. It provides an opportunity to reflect on our legal heritage and the rights we enjoy under our Constitution.
Nationwide, Law Day celebrations include events at law schools, court houses, bar associations, secondary schools, and community centers. These events expand our understanding of our legal system and remind us to nurture our understanding of its principles throughout the year.