On April 29, 2011, eighth grade classrooms throughout Lake County will host volunteer lawyers, judges and law professors for presentations on Law Day 2011: The Legacy of John Adams, A Government of Laws, Not Men. The Young Lawyers Section of the Lake County Bar Association will bring this presentation and discussion directly to the classrooms of eighth grade students in Lake County.

Law Day was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 as a celebration and occasion to mark the nation’s dedication to the principle of the rule of law. Each year, volunteer legal professionals across the country bring this celebration directly to the classrooms of local students on Law Day. These professionals choose a timely and relevant topic to provide students with the opportunity to discuss issues relating to the rule of law.

The topic for Law Day 2011 is The Legacy of John Adams, A Government of Laws, Not Men. Most eighth grade students are aware of the pivotal role that John Adams played in the founding of the United States, and later as our nation’s second President. However, many students may not realize the role that John Adams, the first “lawyer-president” of the United States, played in influencing the development of the rule of law in the new nation. Through his defense of the unpopular accused in the Boston Massacre, Adams instilled the principle that all accused of a crime are entitled to a competent defense. The continuing relevance of his work is evident in our society today, and Law Day 2011 will bring a discussion of Adams’ legacy and its modern day application directly to Lake County’s eighth-graders.

In addition to the Law Day 2011 presentations on April 29, the LCBA is also sponsoring an essay contest on the Law Day 2011 program topic. The deadline for submission of entries is May 6, 2011. Entrants will select from a list of provided essay topics addressing the Law Day theme, and write an essay of 250 words or less on their chosen topic. Two winners will be chosen, one boy and one girl. The winners will each receive a monetary award of $250.00. The law firms of Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP and Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP are each sponsoring one of the $250 awards. Additionally, the Lake County Bar Association will seek the assistance of local newspapers and media outlets to publish the winning essays.

Lawyers, judges, law professors and others interested in participating in Law Day 2011 may volunteer by simply completing the online form at http://www.sftlawyers.com/lawday or by contacting the LCBA office for more information. For other information about the LCBA’s participation in Law Day 2011 and the Essay Contest, contact Benjamin Fryman, Committee member, at bdf@sftlawyers.com.

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