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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. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  2. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  3. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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  5. Tina has left the building.

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