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 HEREfor New
York News in Education Series - recommended!
Throughout the history of the United States,
and specifically in the state of New York, men and women have found the
strength to challenge popular opinion and take a stand for the greater
good. These features will highlight a few of those brave men and women.
This series educates about New York’s role in our legal history.
This series is intended to prompt discussion and exploration of the
historical and contemporary role of lawyers in defending the rights of
the accused, and renew appreciation for the fundamental principle of the
rule of law and the critical role of informed, engaged citizens.
The materials highlight 5 specific cases, 4 of
them originating in New York. The links bring up PDF files with the
newspaper features and corresponding student worksheet(s) for the case
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
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
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.
- 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