Many might not know that, among his many passions, Lincoln had a deep love of animals and even asked troops to care for orphaned kittens he encountered while visiting General Grant during the Civil War. To honor the 200th anniversary of the birth of America's quintessential lawyer-president, the New York State Bar Association will explore Lincoln's love of animals and its influence on the growing field of animal law as part of Law Day 2009.

Since 1947, New York's humane education law has required that elementary school students receive instruction "in the humane treatment and protection of animals and the importance of the part they play in the economy of nature." The Law Day curriculum provides not only a history lesson on our 16th president, but also teaches students about the importance of proper care and treatment of animals.

In preparation for this year's event, the Committees on Law, Youth & Citizenship and Animals and the Law have launched a Web site containing information, lesson plans and classroom resources: www.nysba.org/lawday2009. The Web site serves two purposes: to help educators in New York observe Law Day in their classrooms; and to satisfy the New York State Education Law, Article 17, Section 809, mandating instruction in the humane treatment of animals. That law also requires offering an alternative to dissection of animals to those students who object to such practice.

Established in 1958 by President Eisenhower, Law Day is the annual commemoration of the importance of the role of law in our society. This year's theme is "A Legacy of Liberty - Celebrating Lincoln's Bicentennial."

The Committee on Animals and the Law was established to provide an information resource for the State Bar's members, governments and the public about non-human, animal-related humane issues which arise from and have an effect upon our legal system. The State Bar also houses the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program (www.lycny.org/">www.lycny.org) which has provided civic education resources to teachers and classes throughout New York for three decades.

The 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.

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Contact: Brandon Vogel
Media Writer
bvogel@nysba.org
518/487-5535