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Law Day celebrated today

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For the 51st year of the national observance of Law Day, about three dozen Indiana attorneys, judges, and paralegals presented the Indiana Supreme Court's "Why Lincoln was a Lawyer" program to 125 different classes - almost 3,000 students - around the state.

To mark the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth in February, more than 500 Indiana State Bar Association members presented the program to 26,000 school-aged children. Lincoln, "A Legacy of Liberty," is also the American Bar Association's theme for Law Day 2009.

Since its inception by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958, the purpose of Law Day is for the legal community to reach out to students and others to tell them what lawyers and judges do, and how the courts operate.

Volunteers who spoke to Indiana students about Lincoln's role as a lawyer also answered questions from students about what lawyers and judges do. The average participant spoke to three or four classes.

"It's a great opportunity for the legal community to interact with young kids and high school students," said Elizabeth Osborn, assistant to the Indiana chief justice for court history and public education.

"We had an overwhelming response from attorneys and judges" to the February program, she said. "To get out and talk to students, they say it helped remind them how much students appreciate it when they can ask questions in person."

She added most of the students only know about lawyers and judges through legal dramas and reality-based court shows like "Judge Judy."

Teachers have also e-mailed Osborn, thanking the judges and attorneys for taking time from their busy schedules to talk to their students.

For the May 1 program, "We had no problem getting students and lawyers to participate," and most lawyers would self-match with schools they knew or where they wanted to speak.

Based on the February program's success, Osborn only expected, "maybe another 500 to 1,000 students for this, so I was thrilled to have another 3,000 students." Students in the May program did not participate in the February presentation.

Lesson plans for today's event and past educational events are available on the court's Web site.

While there aren't any other formal presentations scheduled for the near future, a speakers bureau of judges is available to classrooms upon request. For more information, contact Jennifer Bauer of the Indiana Judicial Center at (317) 232-1313, or jbauer@courts.state.in.us.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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