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March 20, 2024

Legal leaders to discuss democracy at ABA virtual Law Day launch program, March 21

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2024 – The American Bar Association will host the Law Day 2024 Launch Program  on Thursday, March 21, from 4-5 p.m. EDT. The program — which will be held virtually with free registration — will provide suggestions and guidance to inspire people to plan and lead their own Law Day celebrations, including a panel discussion on the Law Day theme, “Voices of Democracy,” from esteemed legal leaders.

"This year’s Law Day theme is 'Voices of Democracy,' and during this program, affinity and other bar leaders will share their powerful and poignant perspectives on the meaning of democracy," said ABA President Mary Smith. “This event is a precursor to Law Day on May 1, and aims to energize individuals to commemorate the day with their own events to promote democracy and amplify its vital voices.”

Speakers for the program include President Smith; Matthew Archer-Beck, national chair of Law Day; Dominique Calhoun, president, National Bar Association; Anna Mercado Clark, president, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association; Bendita Cynthia Malakia, president, National LGBT Bar Association; Daniel Mateo, president, National Hispanic Bar Association; Makalika Naholowa’a, president, National Native American Bar Association; Ronza Othman, president, National Association of Blind Lawyers; and Carl Smallwood, chair, advisory commission to the ABA Task Force for American Democracy.

The ‘Voices of Democracy’ Law Day theme encourages Americans to participate in the 2024 elections by deepening their understanding of the electoral process; discussing issues in honest and civil ways; turning out to vote; and helping to move the country forward after free and fair elections. In this way, Americans ensure that our government remains responsive to the wishes of the people. We invite all Americans to join us on May 1, 2024, to celebrate Law Day by lifting their voices to strengthen our democracy.

Envisioned in 1957 by then-ABA President Charles S. Rhyne as a national day to recognize the country’s commitment to the rule of law, Law Day was established by President Dwight Eisenhower the following year. Congress issued a joint resolution in 1961 designating May 1 as the official Law Day. Many civic groups and bar associations celebrate with programs, presentations and events.

“The ABA is excited to offer this free virtual program, which introduces this year’s theme, ‘Voices of Democracy,’” said Matther Archer-Beck, the national Law Day chair. “The program is designed to provide organizations with inspiration for incorporating this theme into their own Law Day commemorations.”

The ABA provides resources for schools, state and local bar associations, civic organizations and others who are planning programs and activities for public audiences to discuss the theme either live or virtually. The launch program will preview various resources and upcoming programs featured on www.lawday.org.

Resources include:

  • An interactive calendar for people to find Law Day events
  • Virtual tools that can be downloaded and used for events
  • Downloadable Law Day logo, Zoom background and email header
  • How-to for participating in a national Law Day conversation through video and social media
  • Law Day products
  • Downloadable high school lesson plans and classroom activities
  • Law Day PSA opportunities
  • Example proclamation for use with state or local governments

Law Day resources can be viewed online.

To register as media for the March 21 webinar, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at [email protected].

The public can register for the event here. The program will also be livestreamed on YouTube and recorded for on-demand viewing.

Law Day is sponsored by the ABA Division for Public Education, whose mission is to promote public understanding of law and its role in society.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.