Law Day 2018

Law Day, held annually on May 1, is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how 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.

"Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom" is the 2018 Law Day theme chosen by the American Bar Association. The ABA's Law Day Planning Guide and resources are available at

The ABA notes the following about the 2018 theme, "Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom" takes a nonpartisan look at checks and balances and how that applies to our government. The 2018 Law Day theme intends to go a step beyond what we learn in textbooks in order to underscore the importance of this system of government set forth by the Founding Fathers.

The U.S. Constitution sets out a system of government with distinct and independent branches—Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court. It also defines legislative, executive, and judicial powers and outlines how they interact. These three separate branches share power, and each branch serves as a check on the power of the others. "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition," James Madison explained in Federalist 51. Why? Madison believed that the Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances preserve political liberty. They provide a framework for freedom. Yet, this framework is not self-executing. We the people must continually act to ensure that our constitutional democracy endures, preserving our liberties and advancing our rights. The Law Day 2018 theme 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." To learn more, visit

Pennsylvania takes a slightly different approach to observing Law Day by focusing on children. 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. The free lessons and materials are designed to be informative and engaging for all students. Law Day provides Pennsylvania lawyers and judges with a wonderful opportunity to become involved in their local communities. Law Day is funded by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.