April 04, 2003
Law Week set for April 25 - May 3
Volunteer Philadelphia lawyers will offer free legal advice, welcome new American citizens, visit with children in classrooms and invite inner-city students into their offices Monday, April 28 through Saturday, May 3. That's when the Philadelphia Bar Association marks "Law Week 2003" with a host of special events and services reaching out to thousands of citizens.
The week-long law fest, sponsored by the 13,000-member Bar Association, is one of the most ambitious public outreach efforts of its type in the nation. Law Week 2003's theme, "Independent Courts Protect Our Liberties," provides an opportunity for lawyers, judges, legislators and educators to collaborate on community-based activities that will increase access to our courts, thereby ensuring the vibrancy of our democracy.
All of the Law Week activities are under the direction of Association Chancellor-Elect Gabe L.I. Bevilacqua and are coordinated by the Association's Young Lawyers Division with the help of scores of lawyer-volunteers. The YLD Law Week co-chairs are YLD Chair-Elect Kim R. Jessum and Executive Committee Louis J. Presenza, Jr.
The following is a schedule of Law Week activities:
Monday, April 28 -- Monday kicks off a weeklong series of visits to Philadelphia school classrooms by volunteer Philadelphia lawyers with the Lawyer in the Classroom program. As part of the program, the lawyers will visit different schools throughout the week to address students' concerns about the law and answer questions about the legal profession. Monday, volunteer lawyers will spend the morning talking with the Philadelphia city students of the Parkway Program, Center City Unit, located in at 9 S. 12th St. and Lincoln High School, located at Rowland and Ryan Avenues. Both programs are scheduled for 9 - 11 a.m.
Tuesday, April 29 -- Lawyer in the Classroom continues with a program at Furness High School, 1900 S. 3rd St. and the Parkway Program, Northwest Unit, 7500 Germantown Ave., both in Philadelphia, from 9 - 11 a.m.
Also on Tuesday morning, lawyers participating in the Stepping Out for Seniors program will meet with students to discuss areas of law the students are likely to encounter after graduation as they begin their adult lives. The program will cover a variety of issues, including renting a place to live, keeping a job, understanding consumer credit, paying taxes and getting married. This program will be held at Ben Franklin High School, Broad and Green Streets.
Wednesday, April 30 -- At lunchtime, dozens of Philadelphia attorneys will gather to provide free, in-person legal advice at a Law Fair, from noon to 2 p.m., at the Gallery Mall in Center City. Attorneys will provide answers to legal questions on a broad range of topics, including landlord/tenant law, divorce and child custody matters, wills and estate planning, real estate law and employment law. At the same time, lawyers will prepare free kids' identification cards for parents who bring their young children to the Law Fair, as part of the Kid ID Program .
Also on Wednesday, free legal advice will be given to those who call the LegalLine hotline. From 5 to 8 p.m., area residents can call lawyers at (215) 238-6333 and have their legal questions answered free and confidentially. The lawyers will staff a phone bank at the headquarters of the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th floor.
From 9 - 11 a.m., lawyer-volunteers will conduct another session of Lawyer in the Classroom at the Parkway Program, Gamma Unit, 4901 Chestnut St.
Thursday, May 1 (LAW DAY) -- Lawyer-volunteers will speak to students at the Mast Community Center Charter School, 1800 Byberry Road in Northeast Philadelphia, from 9 - 11 a.m., as part of another Lawyer in the Classroom session.
Also on Thursday, the YLD will bring their Doctor/Lawyer in the Classroom program to students of the Albert M. Greenfield Middle School, 23rd & Chestnut Streets, from 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Through this program, a team of doctors and lawyers will discuss with students the medical and legal implications of drug abuse and domestic violence.
Additionally, a dramatic Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new United States citizens will be held at the U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, at 10:30 a.m. Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Audrey C. Talley will offer remarks at the ceremony and Judge Franklin S. Van Antwerpen will preside.
Friday, May 2 -- Volunteer attorneys and judges pair with high school students and "show them the ropes" of their jobs by taking them to their offices and into the courts during the Lawyer for a Day program. Several city courtrooms will be open to allow the participants to observe the proceedings. The students will meet the lawyers and judges at the Bar Association at 8:30 a.m., and all participants are invited back to the Association's 11th floor Conference Center at noon for a concluding lunch, during which students will recount their experiences and hear from various speakers.
Saturday, May 3 -- The YLD and the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia will co-sponsor a forum on legal issues facing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. A panel of experienced local attorneys will discuss the essential legal documents that members of this community should have to protect themselves. The forum will be held at Temple University Center City Campus, 1515 Market St., Room 315, from 1 - 2:15 p.m.
The week draws to a close as volunteer-lawyers trade their briefcases for hammers and paintbrushes to refurbish a South Philadelphia home from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the Habitat for Humanity program.
For additional information, please visit the Bar Association's Web site at www.philadelphiabar.org
. Attorneys interested in volunteering for any Law Week 2003 program, should contact the Law Week co-chairs, Kim Jessum at (215) 963-4753 or Lou Presenza at (215) 731-1600.
# # #