In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day with the
following proclamation: "I … hereby designate Thursday, May 1,
1958, as Law Day -- USA. I urge the people of the United States to
observe the designated day with appropriate ceremonies and activities;
and I especially urge the legal profession, the press and the radio,
television and motion picture industries to promote and to participate
in the observance of that day."
Each year, bar associations, the courts and other law-related
organizations and educational institutions sponsor events in recognition
of the important role the law and our justice system play in our
democratic society. As we approach Law Day 2013, I encourage you
to participate in activities taking place in your community, such as
classroom visits, award ceremonies, lectures and essay
The theme for Law Day 2013 is “Realizing the Dream: Equality
for All.” The American aspiration to achieve full equality
for all is one of the defining characteristics of our national
identity. This year marks the 150th anniversary of President
Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation and
the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s
“I Have a Dream Speech.” As we look back upon these
historic milestones and reflect upon the tremendous legacy of the Civil
Rights Movement, this year’s Law Day theme also provides an
opportunity to consider our nation’s ongoing efforts to fully
realize the dream of equality for all.
I am certain that Law Day 2013 will inspire many exciting events and
conversations about this interesting and important topic. You can
learn more about how to get involved by using this website. I hope
you will all find a way to take part in this year’s
Seymour W. James, Jr.
New York State Bar Association
1, 2013, the United States celebrates Law Day for the 24th time.
Law Day is a time for us all to reflect upon the importance of the rule
of law, and the role that it plays 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 2013 is: Realizing the Dream;
Equality for All. On Law Day 2013, please take some
time to reflect upon the theme and share its importance with your
colleagues and students.
For further information on how you or your school or
organization can participate in Law Day 2013, please explore this site .
Featured Activity . . .
New York News Publishers Newspapers in Education Series -
The promise of equality under the law is what has made America a
beacon to other nations. It is a pledge clearly set forth in the
Declaration of Independence and in the opening words of the Preamble of
the Constitution,“We the People.” It is in the words of
Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. And it was restated
150 years later in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have
a Dream” speech which challenged us to live up to our national
ideal of equality under the law.
This educational series was created to give students and readers an
opportunity to explore the movement for civil and human rights in
America and to promote discussion of the continued fight against
injustice and discrimination. The five features cover the following
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
- 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,
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.
Annenberg Classroom - offers a wide
array of educational resources under a single umbrella. For Law Day
2013, try the XX page. 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.
Socialize with us ~ Law, Youth and Citizenship . . .