Each year, Law Day is celebrated nationally on May 1 to honor the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in this democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.
Local bar associations, courts, schools, youth groups, and community organizations are encouraged to hold Law Day programs to help people understand how law keeps us free and how our legal system strives to achieve justice.
2016 Law Day Contests
The State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association celebrate the importance of law and the impact it has not only in our nation, but also in our communities by inviting local bar associations to participate in editorial, photo, and poster contests. Local Bars and young lawyer affiliates are encouraged to hold local contests and to submit their first-place winners in each category to the State Bar for the statewide contest. The State Bar sponsors the statewide editorial and photo contests and co-sponsors the statewide poster contests with the Texas Young Lawyers Association.
2016 LAW DAY THEME
In 2016, the nation marks the 50th anniversary of perhaps the nation’s best-known U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda Warning has become ingrained in law enforcement and has permeated popular consciousness through countless recitations in films and television shows. Yet Miranda is only part of the story when it comes to the procedures for ensuring justice. The 2016 Law Day theme — Miranda: More than Words — will explore the procedural protections afforded to all of us by the U.S. Constitution, how these rights are safeguarded by the courts, and why the preservation of these principles is essential to our liberty.
Stay tuned for the statewide contest brochure and deadline!
2015 Law Day Winners
The State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association would
like to thank all of the local bar associations and young lawyer
affiliates who participated in the statewide Law Day contests. Thank you
for taking the time to submit your bar association’s entries. We
had many talented entries again this year and are always impressed by
the creativity and hard work of our contestants.
What Have Other Local Bar Associations Done To Celebrate Law Day?
Dallas Bar Association
Each year, attorneys of the Dallas Bar Association impact thousands of elementary students (K-6) in approximately 50 schools across Dallas by teaching classes to help students understand the importance of our court systems. More than 60 attorneys participate each year in Lawyers in the Classroom throughout the month of May in celebration of Law Day. The Law Day Mock Voir Doir Project, presented to more than 100 Dallas high school students, allows youths to engage in court proceedings. The annual poster, photography, and editorial contests allow students to further connect to the Law Day theme and enable youths to express the impact of the rule of law in their own lives.
El Paso Bar Association
The El Paso Bar Association sponsors a Law Day Chess Tournament for elementary and middle school children. This program started approximately 20 years ago after low-income school districts in El Paso received federal grant money to pay for chess coaches since the game is said to transcend language barriers and improve the ability to concentrate and solve problems. The El Paso Bar Association Law Day Tournament matches students in each grade level to compete against each other. The first and second place winners are given trophies and then go on to play a lawyer. If the student defeats the lawyer in the chess match, he or she receives a medal stating, “I Beat a Lawyer.” Congressmen, local judges, and attorneys have all participated in the tournament.
Houston Bar Association
Members of the Law Week Committee plan a range of activities surrounding Law Day in addition to hosting their poster, editorial, and photography contests for area schools. Other events include working on posters with inner-city youths and minority groups, reading to elementary students in 100 area schools, holding interactive dialogues on the Law Day theme in high school classes, and passing out pocket-size copies of the Constitution to citizens reporting to jury duty. The Houston Bar also invites special-needs students to the historic Harris County 1910 Courthouse, where they get the opportunity to tour the facility and see an abbreviated reenactment of the oral arguments made to the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education.
Jefferson County Bar Association
The Jefferson County Bar Association’s Law Day celebration encourages member participation and honors the rule of law. At the Law Day ceremony, thousands of dollars are awarded to the Law Day speech and poster contest winners and to the mock trial team, providing students with the opportunity to learn about our legal system. The bar also recognizes exemplary lawyers in the community during its Annual Meeting and Law Day Ceremony. The event concludes by promoting camaraderie among the legal community through its annual Fajita Cook-Off, Washer Tournament, and Bar Party, complete with live entertainment from Lawlapalooza, a group of local attorneys and judges.
Helpful Links to Additional Resources