April 25, 2011
Philadelphia Bar Association to Celebrate Law Week 2011 Next Week, May 2-6
The Philadelphia Bar Association will celebrate Law Week 2011 next week, May 2-6, with a range of student and community service events presented by volunteer lawyers and coordinated by the Association's Young Lawyers Division.
Attorneys will offer free legal advice, visit high school classes, guide children on tours of the city's courtrooms, and present mock criminal trials for grade school students during the weeklong fest, which is one of the most ambitious public outreach efforts of its type in the nation and reaches thousands of citizens. This year's theme is "The Legacy of John Adams: From Boston to Guantanamo."
CLICK HERE to view the official Law Week 2011 webpage.
The following is a schedule of Law Week activities:
Legal Advice Live!, Monday, May 2
LAL! kicks off the week with dozens of Philadelphia attorneys gathering to provide free, in-person legal advice from 12 to 2 p.m. at four branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia: Central (1901 Vine St.), Ramonita de Rodriguez (600 W. Girard Ave.; Spanish-speaking attorneys will be available); Haverford (5543 Haverford Ave.); and Donatucci (1935 Shunk St.). Attorneys will provide answers to legal questions on a broad range of topics including personal injury, medical malpractice, landlord/tenant law, divorce and child custody matters, wills and estate planning, real estate law and employment law.
Also on May 2, a Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new U.S. citizens will be held at the U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market Streets, at 10:30 a.m. Here, the winner of the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest – named after a past Chancellor of the Bar Association – will read aloud his or her essay. The winning Philadelphia high school senior will be awarded a $1,000 college scholarship.
Lawyer in the Classroom, Tuesday, May 3, through Thursday, May 5
This program features lawyers enthusiastically visiting different schools throughout the week to address students' concerns about the law and the legal issues that affect them as they enter adulthood and answer questions about the legal profession.
LegalLine, Wednesday, May 4
Free legal advice will be given to those who call the Legal Line hotline from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 4. The program is being sponsored by the Barristers Association of Philadelphia. Area residents can call lawyers at 215-238-6333 and have their legal questions answered confidentially without a fee. The lawyers will staff a phone bank at the headquarters of the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor.
Lawyer for a Day, Friday, May 6
Volunteer attorneys from the Philadelphia Bar Association will accompany approximately 100 Philadelphia students from 14 different high schools into the city’s courtrooms to witness live court proceedings on Friday, May 6, as part of “Lawyer for a Day,” the culminating event of the Bar Association’s Law Week 2011 celebration.
The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, before students embark on their courtroom tours at 9 a.m. The event concludes with a 12 p.m. luncheon back at Bar Association headquarters, where Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams will speak to the students. Bar Association Chancellor-Elect John E. Savoth will also address the audience.
"Goldilocks," "The Big Bad Wolf," and "Jack and the Beanstalk" Mock Trials, Friday, May 6
Volunteer judges from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and attorneys dressed in costumes will use the facts from fairy tales “Goldilocks,” “The Three Little Pigs” and “Jack and the Beanstalk” to present mock trials to nearly 300 Philadelphia grade school students at 7 different courtrooms in City Hall on Friday, May 6 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is one of several organized by the Philadelphia Bar Association in celebration of Law Week 2011, May 2-6, and will also feature a opening address by former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell.
Attorneys will act as prosecutors, defense attorneys and witnesses in the “criminal trials” of the famed fairy tale characters. Philadelphia Judges Sandra Mazer Moss, Annette M. Rizzo, Sheila Woods-Skipper, Gary Glazer, Teresa Sarmina, Idee Fox and Albert John Snite, Jr. will preside over each proceeding. At the conclusion of each trial, the students will act as the jury and determine whether “ The Big Bad Wolf,” “Goldilocks,” or “Jack” is guilty of a crime.
Nearly 300 elementary school students from Immaculate Heart of Mary, Greenberg Elementary, Andrew Jackson, Independent Charter School, Our Mother of Consolation, Philadelphia Montessori and C.W. Henry School will all take part in the event. Trials will be held in courtrooms 653, 275, 676, 426, 544, 682 and 643. Former Gov. Rendell will deliver remarks in Ceremonial Courtroom 653, after which a trial will be presided over by Judge Mazer Moss and provides the best opportunity for media coverage of the event.
All of the Law Week activities are under the direction of Bar Association Chancellor-Elect John Savoth and are coordinated by the Association's Young Lawyers Division with the help of scores of lawyer-volunteers. The Law Week 2011 co-chairs are Roxane Crowley and Matt Laver.