2018 Law Day Theme
Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom
The U.S. Constitution sets out a system of government with distinct and independent branches—Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court. It also defines legislative, executive, and judicial powers and outlines how they interact. These three separate branches share power, and each branch serves as a check on the power of the others. “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” James Madison explained in Federalist 51. Why? Madison believed that the Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances preserve political liberty. They provide a framework for freedom. Yet, this framework is not self-executing. We the people must continually act to ensure that our constitutional democracy endures, preserving our liberties and advancing our rights. The Law Day 2018 theme enables us to reflect on the separation of powers as fundamental to our constitutional purpose and to consider how our governmental system is working for ourselves and our posterity.
Download the Law Day 2018 Planning Guide
For any issues with the link above, the guide is posted by the ABA at www.lawday.org
Questions and a Brief History of Law Day
When is Law Day?
What is the Purpose of Law Day?
- Law Day is held annually, on May 1st, to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession.
The 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.
The April 2018 issues focuses on Separation of Powers and includes two lesson plans.
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.
You Be the Judge
Students at Highland Park Central in Topeka listen as Judge Pierron presents “You be the Judge” during Law Day week.
Engaging Future Lawyers
"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
(May 1) 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