Successful Planning for Law Day 2012 Begins Now

Volume 37, Number 2

By

Jaime Ackerman is the Editor of The Affiliate and an attorney with the Mountainside, New Jersey, firm of Zucker, Goldberg & Ackerman, LLC.

May 1, 2012. The date sounds far away.

As I write this article—and cannot think past my upcoming trial on Wednesday—next May is light years away. But this is exactly when you and your Affiliate should turn your thoughts toward planning for a successful Law Day celebration.

The 2012 Law Day theme has recently been announced: “No, Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.” This theme provides the chance to emphasize the role and importance of the courts, as well as to promote better understanding of our judicial system. It also allows for the exploration of how the courts are integral to affording justice and freedom to our country’s citizens.

 

American Bar Association’s Law Day Planning Tools

The American Bar Association has a webpage dedicated to Law Day planning and resources: www.lawday.org. The site offers a wealth of tools to help plan your Law Day events. As May 1 approaches, the webpage will be updated periodically with additional information. The site will contain downloadable art for use in your Law Day programs and a calendar to show what other Affiliates across the country are doing as part of their own celebrations. The ABA also makes available sample lesson plans for students in elementary, middle, and high school and for use as suggested guidelines for your programming.

Register online to receive a copy of the Law Day Planning Guide. The guide will be available in a few months and is a tremendous resource for your Law Day events. Past year’s planning guides included messages from the National Law Day Chair, ABA President, sample organizational schedules, and programs for students of all age groups.

The Law Day Store is your one-stop shop for all your Law Day needs. It makes everything available to you from promotional items (including pencils, balloons, and beach balls) to wearable merchandise (like shirts, hats, and wristbands). If your programs and contests call for awards, medals, certificates, ribbons, or plaques, you can also purchase these online at the Law Day Store.

Is your affiliate interested in making a mock trial part of its Law Day activities? The Law Day Store also has resources available to perform mock trials at all grade levels, kindergarten through high school. Younger students can enjoy trials based on well-known fairy tales, such as State v. Jack Robinson (where Jack is on trial for second degree homicide in the death of the Giant) or The Three Bears v. Goldilocks (where Goldilocks is sued civilly for her bad manners). Mock trial materials are also available for both criminal and civil cases for older students.

Visit the Law Day webpage for additional information and to sign up for your copy of the Law Day Planning Guide. You can also join the “ABA Law Day” Facebook group for additional updates and information.

Win Awards for Your Affiliate’s Law Day Activities

Did you know that your Affiliate can win awards for its exceptional Law Day activities? Anyone—individual or group—who holds a Law Day event is eligible to apply. Programs are judged on the following criteria: how the event embodies the Law Day theme, engages the targeted audience, creates partnerships or collaborates with members of the legal community, overall quality and innovation of the project, use of the media to promote the project, and whether the event extends beyond Law Day.

Law Day activities can fall within one or more of the following categories, depending on their target audience: kindergarten through 12th grade and undergraduate, law school community, adult community/general public, legal professionals, and special use of the Law Day theme. If a program falls into multiple categories, the American Bar Association may consider the activity under additional categories.

Entry forms will be available online in the coming months. Winners of the Outstanding Law Day Activity Awards receive a credit to the Law Day Store, announcement in next year’s Law Day Planning Guide, and a plaque, which is presented to them at the ABA Midyear Meeting’s awards luncheon.

Whether your affiliate holds a weeklong celebration, or its events take place over the course of a single day, the success of your Law Day activities will be the result of early planning. Using the print and online resources available to you through the ABA will help to make your Affiliate’s Law Day a success. ­­

 

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