Law Day is a nationwide celebration of the rule of law and how the legal process contributes to the freedoms that all Americans share. American Bar Association (ABA) President Charles Rhyne conceived the idea in 1957 while watching reports of the Soviet Union’s displays of military might during its annual May Day celebration. He felt that Americans should establish a day to celebrate the rule of law as opposed to the rule of force. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Law Day Proclamation in 1958. On April 7, 1961, Congress designated May 1 as “Law Day, U.S.A.”
The goal of Law Day is to cultivate a deeper understanding of the law. The ABA selects a theme each year for Law Day events. This year’s theme, Separation of Power: Framework for Freedom, “enables us to reflect on the separation of powers as fundamental to our constitutional purpose and to consider how our governmental system is working for ourselves and our posterity.”
Annually, state and local bar associations organize events in their communities to promote engagement and education during what has become a week-long celebration. All over Michigan, bar associations, businesses, schools, and other organizations will sponsor luncheons, presentations, free legal advice days, and receptions to strengthen the public’s understanding of the justice system. Be sure to participate in your local Law Day events and celebrate the rule of law in your community—and your oath to uphold it.