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.
The State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association celebrate the importance of law and its impact on our nation and local communities by hosting statewide editorial, photo, and poster contests based on the American Bar Association Law Day yearly theme. The State Bar sponsors the statewide editorial and photo contests and co-sponsors the statewide poster contests with the Texas Young Lawyers Association. Local bars and young lawyer affiliates are encouraged to hold local contests and submit their first-place winners in each category to the State Bar for the statewide contest.
2020 LAW DAY THEME
Your Vote • Your Voice • Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at
The Law Day 2020 theme is “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100.” In 2019-2020, the United States is commemorating the centennial of the transformative constitutional amendment that guaranteed the right of citizens to vote would not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex. American women fought for, and won, the vote through their voice and action.
The women’s suffrage movement forever changed America, expanding representative democracy and inspiring other popular movements for constitutional change and reform. Yet, honest reflection on the suffrage movement reveals complexity and tensions over race and class that remain part of the ongoing story of the Nineteenth Amendment and its legacies.
2019 LAW DAY CONTEST 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 submitted entries in the statewide Law Day essay, photograph, and poster contests. We had many talented entries again this year and are always impressed by the creativity and hard work of our contestants.
Congratulations to all who won!
Helpful Links to Additional Resources
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 and their teachers to the historic Harris County 1910 Courthouse, where they get to see an “All About Guardianships” presentation.
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.