Law Day

Enter by April 22 to Participate in the PBA’s 2022 Law Day Chalk Art Contest!

Last year’s chalk art contest was popular and those who participated told us how much fun they had getting outside and expressing their creativity, while also talking about the law and our judicial system. So, this year we are again launching the contest as part of the PBA’s 2022 Law Day celebration.

An addition to this year’s contest is that we are adding the opportunity to submit drawings on 8.5 x 11 paper. We realize not everyone can get outside and not everyone has easy access to chalk, so if you prefer to be creative and draw your Law Day 2022 message on paper, please do that! (details below).

The purpose of this contest is to celebrate and promote Law Day or the 2022 Law Day theme “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.” Students of any age can participate. The art project can be as simple as drawing the letters for “LAW DAY 2022” or “RULE of LAW.” Will it be written in cursive or with block letters that are filled in with stripes or polka dots? What colors will you use? Are you adding flowers, butterflies or more law-related symbols like a flag, stars, an eagle, a gavel, a judge on the bench, the scales of justice? Can the student imagine and then capture through art, what “a more perfect union” looks like or feels like?

This is a great opportunity to engage with young people and talk about the importance of our Constitution and the rule of law. These are meant to be conversations — not formal lessons — but they do provide a great opportunity to engage kids and make them think about their community and the real-life, day-to-day ways that the constitution and rule of law shows up, helping them understand what the rule of law means in a concrete way in their everyday life. Maybe the contest launches a follow-up conversation with students on the recent hearings to confirm a new supreme court justice?

Here are some more ideas to get you started…

  • This is an opportunity to talk in an age-appropriate way, about rules and laws, and that one of the reasons we have rules and laws is to keep people safe.
  • If you are doing chalk art outside, you can talk about rules on where you could draw, do you need to ask permission, what is trespassing, we cannot deface other people‘s property, what kind of speech or message would be appropriate to write in a place that is visible to others in the public; there are lots of opportunities for informal conversations about the law and rule of law. What other examples can the youth think of where there are rules?
  • You can talk about the purpose of rules and laws.
  • What are the consequences of breaking the rule or law?

  • Share your photos, tag the PBA and enter the contest

  • To be considered for one of the five $50 prizes, the supervising adult must send an email to lawday@pabar.org and include the adult’s contact information. A photo of the artwork without any children is required. You are invited to share up to three additional photos which may include the youth with the art. The PBA will not post photos of children without permission and we will not directly publish the names or other identifying information on our social media accounts.
  • Official entries must be received by April 22 to be considered for one of the prizes. It will be the responsibility of the adult that submitted the entry to disburse the prize among the group that participated with them if chosen as one of the winning entries.
  • We encourage you to share photos of the completed art project on Facebook or Twitter and tag the PBA. Use the hashtag #PBAlawday2022 so we can see your posts!

  • We hope you have fun, while also promoting the role of lawyers, judges, the courts, our judicial system, the Constitution and the rule of law.


    What is Law Day?

    Law Day is held every May 1 throughout the nation to celebrate the rule of law. It was established in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower to mark the nation’s rule of law and codified by Congress in 1961. Law Day underscores how the law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.

    Each year, the American Bar Association designates a Law Day theme and provides free resources and materials to assist bar associations and lawyers in planning law day events such as educational community forums and school visits.

    The Law Day theme that the ABA has chosen for 2022 is “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.” The ABA’s theme recognizes that the “Constitution is a dynamic document, as it not only outlines a blueprint for government, but also delegates power, articulates rights, and offers mechanisms for change. It is neither perfect, nor exhaustive, as our nation’s history makes clear. Legislation, court rulings, amendments, lawyers, and “we the people” have built upon those original words across generations to attempt to make the “more perfect Union” more real.” Pennsylvania has traditionally commemorated Law Day by focusing on educating students about the rule of law. Through classroom visits by lawyers and judges and an outstanding set of free law-related lesson plans prepared for K-College classrooms, the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, Pennsylvania Bar Association and county bar associations across the commonwealth work with schools to educate children about their legal rights and responsibilities in the new millennium. Lawyers can choose to focus on discussing the annual ABA theme, their own career and experience as a lawyer, or discussing topics designated by the schools. The free lessons and materials are designed to be informative and engaging for all students.

    We are pleased to share that the PBA 2021 Law Day Chalk Art program was one of 12 Law Day programs selected and recognized by the American Bar Association! Thank you to everyone who participated in our Law Day program and helped make it a success! Law Day is funded by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.


    Below are a few favorite lessons you can use to talk with students about the Rule of Law. These ideas can be easily adapted to virtual discussions.

    Elementary

    No Animals in the Library - This is a fun exercise that requires students to think about making decisions based on an unclear rule and then consider the consequences of their decisions. A sample introductory script is provided to give you some ideas on how you might talk with students about your job and tie in the "No Animals" lesson.

    Middle to High School

    No Vehicles in the Park - This lesson engages students and adults by asking them to think and decide on various hypotheticals. By doing this they begin to understand what goes into making a law, why laws are needed, the difficulty in making decisions based on an unclear law and then considering the consequences of their decisions on individual citizens and the community.
    I Can't Wear What?
    In this lesson from the iCivics web site, students meet Ben Brewer and find out what happened the day he decided to wear his favorite band T-shirt to school in violation of a new dress code rule. Students read a summary of a Supreme Court case to figure out the "rule" that applies to Ben's problem. Everything you need to deliver this lesson, including step-by-step instructions, is provided by the iCivics team. Many other great lessons are provided on the iCivics website.
    Why We Have/Need Rules and Laws - This exercise asks students to think about the need for laws using a hypothetical situation where there has been a natural disaster.


     

     

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