September 17 is celebrated annually as Constitution Day. To commemorate this important date in our nations' democratic history, Michigan lawyers are actively participating in seminars, talks, and presentations in schools and other public places to educate students and foster greater public understanding of one of our nation's most precious documents.
A sampling of programs across the state includes:
- "The Right to a Jury Trial"—a PowerPoint presentation developed by the Genesee County Bar Association for students in the district. GCBA attorneys will examine both the U.S. and Michigan constitutions. Students will examine how the Constitutions provide for jury trials for criminal and civil cases, learn the process of a jury trial, and examine jury selection and responsibility. The attorneys will also hand out pocket editions of the Constitution and bookmarks to students. A pdf of the GCBA presentation can be accessed at the Constitution Day website. Links to American Bar Association lessons plans, interactive features and games, conversation starters and information on landmark Supreme Court cases can also be accessed at this site.
- Lawyers in Washtenaw County will be presenting materials and exercises to all 6th and 7th graders in the Ann Arbor Public School District regarding the 6th Amendment issues of voire dire and the Confrontation Clause.
- In Lansing, professors from Michigan State University and Lansing Community College will take part in a panel discussion on "Immigration Issues in the 21st Century" at noon on Sept. 15 at LCC's Dart Auditorium.
- Cooley Law School will host talks and panel discussions at all four campuses. All events are free and open to the public. For more details visit www.cooley.edu.