Law Day celebrates the legal system of the United States. It is supported by the American Bar Association to help people recognize the importance of the American courts system.
In 1958, President Eisenhower proclaimed Law Day to honor the role of law in the creation of the United States of America. Three years later, Congress followed suit by passing a joint resolution establishing May 1st as Law Day.
The idea of a Law Day had first been proposed by the American Bar Association in 1957. The desire to suppress the celebration of May 1, or May Day, as International Workers’ Day aided in Law Day’s creation.
The American Bar Association defines Law Day as: “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.”
This day is looked at as an appreciation of their liberties and the ideals of equality and justice under law. Focusing on the fundamental documents of American democracy: the Declaration of Independence and the federal Constitution. That all people are created equal, and ‘guarantees the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ The Bill of Rights amended to the Constitution codifies the rights of ‘free speech, free press, and fair trial.’
Events and Programs
Each year Law Day events and programs are planned and carried out by bar associations, courts, and various educational entities. The American Bar Association (ABA) selects a theme each year for Law Day events. The ABA publishes an annual Planning Guide (PDF) with content for lesson plans and classroom programs for Law Day as well as suggestions on publicizing Law Day events in local communities.
American Bar Association provides a guide for law students about Law Day