Sunday, May 1 marks Law Day, a tradition established 53 years ago by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. State Bar of Michigan leaders, local bar associations and individual judges and attorneys will take part in Law Day observances over the course of the month to enhance public understanding of our legal system.
This year's Law Day theme, "The Legacy of John Adams, From Boston to Guantanamo, "has been chosen by the American Bar Association as an outstanding example of the commitment to the rule of law and the defense of the rights of the accused, even in cases involving unpopular and controversial clients. John Adams, who went on to become our country's second president, set a great example in 1770, when he defended British soldiers accused of killing civilians in the Boston Massacre. His actions were based on his strong belief in due process and what he called, "a government of laws, not of men."
SBM President W. Anthony Jenkins urged all Michigan attorneys to participate in or support civic learning opportunities like Law Day, and to keep the focus on our unique legal heritage. "Lawyers and judges will always be in the forefront when it comes to the rule of law," Jenkins stressed. "No other group of professionals has made greater contributions to our system of government and the ideals of liberty and democracy than the lawyers and judges who work to preserve our system of justice."
Mr. Jenkins will be the guest of honor at the Ottawa County Law Day dinner and award ceremony in Holland on May 2. Other Law Day events around the state include courthouse tours, legal clinics, mock trials, luncheons and talks. Participating groups include the Federal Bar Association, Genesee County Bar Association, Grand Rapids Bar Association, Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association, Lapeer County Bar Association, Muskegon County Bar Association, Saginaw County Bar Association and the Washtenaw County Bar Association.
Visit the SBM Law Day Page for more Law Day information and resources, and to download President Jenkins' Law Day PSA.
Download copies of the SBM's "You and the Law" booklet to use as a resource in classrooms.
Michigan Legal Milestones have been dedicated by the State Bar across Michigan, and they make great local teaching tools.