Law Day is held on May 1st every year to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession.
History of Law Day
On May 1, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed this day to honor the role of law in the creation of the United States of America. Three years later, Congress followed suit by passing a joint resolution establishing May 1 as Law Day. Wikipedia indicates that Law Day was originally the idea of Charles S. Rhyne, President Eisenhower’s legal counsel and president of the ABA. In President Eisenhower’s Law Day Proclamation he stated that Law Day distinguishes the U.S. "from the type of government that rules by might alone”; it makes the country “an inspiration and a beacon of light for oppressed peoples of the world.” Eisenhower invited citizens to use Law Day as “an opportunity to better understand and appreciate the manifold virtues” of a government ruled by law, “and to focus the attention of the world upon them.”
The KBA Law Related Education Committee hope KBA members will be inspired by Law Day and use this as a day to reach out to local educators and students to share the role of law and the courts in our democracy. Not only on Law Day, but throughout the year, the KBA has resources available for members to use in the classroom. Contact Anne Woods to learn more at email@example.com or (785) 861-8838.
About the 2017 Law Day Theme
The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy
The 2017 theme provides the opportunity to explore the many ways that the Fourteenth Amendment has reshaped American law and society. Through its Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, this transformative amendment advanced the rights of all Americans. It also played a pivotal role in extending the reach of the Bill of Rights to the states. Ratified during Reconstruction a century and a half ago, the Fourteenth Amendment serves as the cornerstone of landmark civil rights legislation, the foundation for numerous federal court decisions protecting fundamental rights, and a source of inspiration for all those who advocate for equal justice under law.
Download the Law Day 2017 Planning Guide
The 2017 Law Day Planning Guide contains valuable information on how to plan, organize, and host a successful Law Day event by implementing the 2017 Law Day theme, "The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy."
Lesson plans for elementary, middle school, and high school grade levels
History of the Fourteenth Amendment case
U.S. Supreme Court cases related to the Fourteenth Amendment
Resources for planning and publicizing your event
Suggested resources: Books, multimedia and discussion tips
Law Day activity ideas
and much more!
Teachers and students can subscribe to or view online Law Wise. Law Wise a newsletter published during the school year that includes general information about law-related matters of interest to teachers, students, and the public. This is a free service provided by the KBA and the KBF.
Funding is provided by the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts program.
View reenactments of the oral arguments
made to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This video includes important elements of the arguments and a booklet is provided that includes discussion questions and answers. View Booklet
You Be the Judge
Students at Highland Park Central in Topeka listen as Judge Pierron presents “You be the Judge” during Law Day week.
"What Do Lawyers Do?" is an interactive web-based resource designed to educate high school and college students about how to become a lawyer. The resource was developed by the ABA Young Lawyers Division in partnership with the Texas Young Lawyers Association. It focuses on preparation for law school, the law school experience, and different career paths for law school graduates. Among its many goals, the project seeks to encourage a discussion about the different aspects of a legal education and the seemingly endless options open to those interested in pursuing a legal education.
KBA Members: Are you available to be a guest speaker?
We have requests from local bars and schools for attorneys to come to their organization or classrooms and talk about the Law Day theme. We also frequently have requests in early fall for attorneys to speak on Constitution Day or during Celebrate Freedom Week. These requests are usually from K-12 educators requesting resources and a speaker about the US Constitution and what it is like to be an attorney or judge. If you are interested in being on a list to be contacted when we have a request in your area, please contact Anne Woods at firstname.lastname@example.org