Bar associations statewide mark Law Day

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In April and early May, bar associations around the state and the Indiana Supreme Court celebrated Law Day, which is officially May 1, according to the American Bar Association. This year’s theme is “Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions and Emerging Challenges.”

Law Day was started by the ABA May 1, 1958, as a way to encourage the legal community to host events for the general public and to work with classrooms to explain to students of all ages how the judicial system works.

As part of the Indiana Supreme Court’s educational outreach program Courts in the Classroom, two groups of students participated in a re-enactment of Brown v. Board of Education April 30. A webcast of the event and supplementary educational materials are on the court’s website. Students from four schools and several home-school groups visited the Supreme Court at the Statehouse. Many participated by reading trial transcripts and descriptions of various players in the landmark case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States May 17, 1954.

Lake County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section organized events for April 30 for eighth-graders at eight schools in northwest Indiana. Featured speakers of the 30 volunteer attorneys included Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Lake Superior Judge Jeffery Dywan, and Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter. The talks centered around this year’s theme, with a focus on technology and the law, including copyright issues associated with the illegal downloading of music off the Internet. Students were also eligible to enter an essay contest about legal issues.

On May 1, the St. Joseph County Bar Association and the St. Joseph County Public Library co-sponsored a presentation of a courtroom scene from “To Kill a Mockingbird” performed by Adams High School students at the St. Joseph County Courthouse.

The presentation, which was open to the public, was part of the events to celebrate “One Book, One Michiana,” which has encouraged northern Indiana residents to read the classic novel by Harper Lee. In the past, SJCBA has had mock trials to celebrate Law Day, but it decided to work with this program for this year, according to Amy McGuire, SJCBA executive director.

The Allen County Bar Association hosted its annual Law Day luncheon, Liberty Bell Award presentation, and Volunteer Lawyer Program recognition at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne May 5. The 2010 Liberty Bell Award, which is given to non-lawyers who support social justice, was given to Rachel Tobin-Smith, executive director of Stop Child Abuse and Neglect.

The Evansville Bar Association hosted its annual mock trial presentations and lunch for students April 29, and the bar association celebrated its annual Red Mass to bless the legal community April 30. Earlier in the month, the EBA recognized Judge J. Douglas Knight, past president of the bar association and past co-chair of the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwestern Indiana, with the James Bethel Gresham Award. On April 21, the EBA and Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwest Indiana recognized attorney P. Michael Mitchell of Bamberger Foreman Oswald & Hahn; Scott Wylie, who works for the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwest Indiana; legal secretary Teresa Koch, who works for Bamberger Foreman Oswald & Hahn; and paralegal Lauren Hall Jones.•


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.