Duly Noted

SBM president urges legal community to highlight importance of courts in her Law Day message

Tuesday, May 1 marks Law Day, a national tradition established 54 years ago by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Over the course of the month of May, State Bar of Michigan leaders, local bar associations and individual judges and attorneys will take part in Law Day observances to enhance public understanding of our legal system.

This year's Law Day theme, “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom,” was chosen by the American Bar Association to highlight the importance of our nation's courts and to make the case for greater funding to safeguard our system of justice.

SBM President Julie I. Fershtman urges all Michigan attorneys to participate in or support civic learning opportunities like Law Day, and to maintain the focus on the historic and fundamental importance of our system of justice.

“Our democratic way of life rests on open and accessible courts,” Fershtman said. “They are the very heart and soul of a free society. We need to keep the doors to our courtrooms open to ensure that everyone's legal rights are respected.”

President Fershtman will attend several Law Day events throughout Michigan, including the Ottawa County Bar Association's Law Day dinner in Holland on May 7. Other Law Day events around the state include courthouse tours, legal clinics, mock trials, luncheons and talks organized by various bar associations and other law-related/civic groups.

This year also marked the inauguration of the State Bar's Law Day Contest, which linked the 2012 theme with the Michigan Legal Milestones Program. Michigan Legal Milestones have been dedicated by the State Bar across Michigan, and they make great local teaching tools. Read more about them at www.michbar.org/programs/milestones.cfm.

Visit the SBM Law Day Page at www.michbar.org/programs/lawday/home.cfm for more information and resources, and to download President Fershtman's Law Day public service announcement.

You may also download copies of the SBM “You and the Law” booklet at www.michbar.org/publications/
pdfs/y&l.pdf to use as a resource in classrooms.