County celebrates Law Day next week

Published 10:52am Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear Editor,

On May 1, 2011, communities across the country will join together to celebrate the 54th observance of Law Day. Law Day, commemorating the significance of the rule of law in American citizenship, traces its roots back to May 1, 1958.

Intended by its first designee, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to serve as a check on communism and its development during the Cold War, Law Day was purposefully observed on the same calendar day to coincide with “May Day,” a global homage to laborers and their historical struggle for fair and humane working conditions.

In his first Law Day proclamation, President Eisenhower emphasized law’s role “in the settlement of international disputes.”

Over 50 years later, Law Day preserves the democratic spirit of May Day by recognizing the rights and privileges enjoyed by every American citizen and boosting awareness of the rule of law.

Law Day has become a venerated tradition in the American legal community. Courts, firms, educational institutions and bar associations across the nation celebrate the occasion with events and programs designed in accord with a theme assigned by the American Bar Association annually. Nationally, this year’s Law Day theme is titled “The Legacy of John Adams: from Boston to Guantanamo.”

In the State of Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley has already taken the opportunity to proclaim May 1 as “Law Day in the State of Alabama.”

In fact, his proclamation was made on the same day he signed a historic education-funding bill into law.

The Alabama State Bar is contributing to the Law Day celebration by again sponsoring student competitions recognizing teachers and students in grades K-12, and by hosting the first official Law Day Observance in the chambers of the Alabama Supreme Court.

The Shelby County Bar traditionally makes a donation to a local charity in observance of Law Day and this year will be no different. In addition, one of our local state legislators will serve as guest speaker at the May bar meeting, and we anticipate some lively Law Day discussion that would make even John Adams proud!

John Adams famously described the United States as a “government of laws, not men,” perfectly encapsulating the ideology of Law Day. Law Day 2011 will be forever remembered as a tribute to Adams and his gift for upholding the law with unfailing fidelity. May we all be as passionate and resilient in doing the same!

Philip F. Hutcheson, President

Shelby County Bar

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  • Jim Bains

    I’m old enough to remember when Law Day was proclaimed for May 1st to replace the traditional International Labor Day. This was during the ’60s when the government was trying to squash the Labor, Civil Rights and Anti-war movements. I think it’s time to take May Day back. Lawyers are not only welcome but needed.

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