Each year the Monmouth Bar Association and Monmouth Vicinage hold several activities to mark Law Day.
Virtual Law Day Art, Essay and Poetry Contest
Our first Law Day 2020 event was a creative contest for Monmouth County public and parochial students in grades K-12. This contest was converted to a remote format and entries were solicited and submitted electronically. Attorneys, judges and court staff scored entries remotely. Winning submissions and profiles of winners were posted on a Law Day link on the NJ Courts website. Each year this contest attracts hundreds of excellent student submissions and judging is always a difficult process.
Virtual Law Day Symposium
In addition to the creative contest, the Monmouth Vicinage hosts an annual educational Symposium on the Law Day theme and Grade 6-12 students are invited to attend. Symposium presentations are given by legal and academic scholars, as well as members of the bench and Bar.
In 2020, the Law Day Symposium was converted to a virtual format. Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon recorded a keynote address on “The Fundamentals of Voting in Monmouth County.” Other scheduled Symposium modules were converted to a video format. Presentations on the following topics were offered to students: Women’s Suffrage, the 19th Amendment, voting rights and electronic voting. Video lectures, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations and links to education websites were posted on a Law Day website so that faculty, students and the public could explore Symposium content independently.
Virtual Law Day Ceremony and Celebration
Another annual event is a formal court ceremony focused on the Law Day theme. Attorneys, judges, court staff, elected officials, educators, students and the community-at-large are invited to attend a festive event in a Ceremonial Courtroom at the county Hall of Records. A keynote address on the Law Day theme is presented and we recognize student award winners for our creative and mock trial contests.
This year our Law Day Ceremony was converted to a virtual format and modified. To shorten our virtual ceremony, the keynote address normally presented during the ceremony was presented during our virtual Symposium. Our virtual Law Day Ceremony recognized individual student award winners and allowed them to engage in personal dialogues with Monmouth Vicinage Assignment Judge Lisa Thornton. Creative award winners received a plaque and prize by mail and were recognized in a press release. Parents, teachers, administrators were invited to observe the ceremony. County and State elected officials also attended and presented commendations to winners. Prizes were sponsored by the IOLTA Foundation and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation.
The Monmouth Bar Association and Monmouth Vicinage are pleased to have won an Outstanding Law Day Activity Award for 2020. Law Day programs are developed by the Executive Director of Monmouth Bar Association and the Ombudsman for Monmouth Vicinage. Law Day activities are developed with the support and leadership of our Vicinage Trial Court Administrator and Assignment Judge. Educational programs for students are developed in consultation with and/or promoted by the Executive County Superintendent of Public Schools and by the Director of Non-Public Schools at the New Jersey Dept. of Education. We are grateful to present our programs in this collaborative and supportive environment.