On May 1, 2011, the United States celebrates Law Day for the 22nd time. Law Day is a time for us all to reflect upon the importance of the rule of law, and the role that it places in the fundamentals of our society. This is an appropriate occasion to remember the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in proclaiming the first Law Day in 1948: “In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive it must choose the rule of law.”
The New York State Bar Association Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee (LYC) urges law schools, bar associations, and other educational institutions to inform their students, members, and the public about Law Day, so that we may all be reminded that Law Day is a special day of celebration, to reflect upon and appreciate our liberties, and rededicate ourselves to the ideals of equality and justice under law.
The theme for Law Day 2011 is particularly appropriate: The Legacy of John Adams, from Boston to Guantanamo. The American Bar Association Law Day Committee points out that that the role of John Adams in the 1770 Boston Massacre trials is a model of commitment to the rule of law, and defense of the rights of the accused even in the face of public criticism.
On Law Day 2011, please take some time to reflect upon the legacy of John Adams and many other heroic lawyers, who have tirelessly defended the rights of the accused, protected our liberties, and reinforced the fundamental principles of the rule of law.
For further information on how you or your school or organization can participate in Law Day 2011, please explore this site . . .
An Invitation to celebrate Law Day from NYSBA President Stephen P. Younger, Esq. [PDF]
CLICK HERE for history of Law Day
CLICK HERE for New York News in Education Series - recommended!
CLICK HERE for New York State Education Department's Law Day Toolkit
CLICK HERE for NY Civics Roadmap - Scope & Sequence for NY classrooms, PreK -12
CLICK HERE for American Bar Association Lesson Plans
Law Day links:
State Court Watch - a project of the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of the New York State Bar Association. This website is a resource for teachers and students interested in enhancing United States history and government curricula by making connections between state case law, famous U.S. Supreme Court cases, and topics covered in U.S. Government and citizenship classes.
NY Civics Roadmap - preK-12 civics education scope and sequence for New York State teachers, supervisors, and curriculum developers including the following components: Concepts, Content understandings, Learning objectives, Knowledge goals, Learning skills and Civic dispositions.
Now That You've Turned 18 (pdf) - Through the Committee on Public Service and Pro Bono, the Young Lawyers Section has produced the publication, "Now That You've Turned 18," available to parents and senior high school students to give them an overview of their basic legal rights and responsibilities.
Center for Civic Education - Through its curriculum, the Center engages young people to become informed, responsible citizens. The Center’s curricula include We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution; Project Citizen; the School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program; Representative Democracy in America; Citizens, Not Spectators; and Foundations of Democracy.
American Constitution Society - elementary, middle and high school level lesson plans
iCivics - a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support. Of particular interest, LawCraft
Annenberg Classroom - offers a wide array of educational resources under a single umbrella. Educators can find curricula, lesson plans, multimedia programs, and other teaching materials all indexed and in conformance with the educational standards of their state. Search by keyword, by subject area, or by state standard to find one of the richest sets of teaching aids available in a single location.
Law Day materials for the classroom
Law, Youth and Citizenship on Facebook
ABA Law Day on Facebook
Related FilesAn Invitation (Adobe PDF File)