First commemorated in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Law Day is a symbol of the United States’ commitment to the law, and a celebration of the nation’s roots. Although not made official until 1961 by Congress, the idea of a Law Day had first been brought up by the American Bar Association in 1957. In fact, the solidification of Law Day was sped up by the desire to suppress the celebration of May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. Many Americans believed May Day to contain traces of communism, hence the desire to overpower the day with another holiday,
As defined by the American Bar Association, Law Day is a “national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process have contributed to the freedoms that all Americans share.” For those unfamiliar with the law, the holiday provides individuals an opportunity to begin learning about the country’s legal processes, and how they impact their rights and freedoms.
The Law Day 2019 theme is “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society”. The theme is intended to focus in on the “cornerstones of representative government”, and call on the people to comprehend and protect these rights of theirs. There’s no question that in the United States and around the globe, the role of free speech and free press has changed drastically due to the heavily modernized and technology-reliant society we live in. Yet no matter how different, it’s quite difficult to imagine living in this world without those liberties. This Law Day, be grateful for your rights, but also consider their limits as our world continues to change.
Need some inspiration for your Law Day 2019 festivities? Law firms around the country are celebrating their rights through luncheons, dinners, mock trials, writing and art contests, and even public voter registration. The American Bar Association encourages law communities throughout the United States to celebrate how law positively impacts society and to showcase the significant impact their profession has on our nation. To do this many legal organizations like the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Legal Services of North Florida offer free legal services or host Ask-A-Lawyer events.
Ultimately, National Law Day is a day to reflect on the privileges and rights the law has given us as well as to reflect on how to continuously improve justice and freedom in our society.