March 16, 2010
Volunteer Attorneys Needed for Law Week 2010 Celebration, April 26-May 3
Law Week 2010 takes place April 26-May 3 and the Philadelphia Bar Association and Young Lawyers Division seek volunteer attorneys of all ages to help present this annual celebration reaching thousands of citizens.
The week includes volunteers offering free legal advice at the city's free libraries, visiting high school classrooms, guiding students on tours of the city's courts, and using facts from popular fairytales to present mock criminal trials to grade school children at City Hall.
Law Week 2010 is coordinated and presented by the Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and stands as one of the most ambitious public outreach efforts of its type in the nation. This year's theme is "Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges".
Click here to go to the Law Week 2010 Web page where you can learn more and sign up to volunteer.
The following is a schedule of Law Week 2010 activities:
Lawyer in the Classroom, Monday, April 26, through Thursday, April 29
Volunteer lawyers visit different Philadelphia 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.
Legal Advice Live!, Monday, April 26
Volunteer attorneys will gather to provide free, in-person legal advice to area citizens from 12 to 2 p.m. at five different branches of the Philadelphia Free Library, including the Central branch. 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, and employment law, among others.
In addition, on Wednesday, April 28, the Bar Association will host a special Legal Line program where residents facing legal issues can call 215-238-6333 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and have their questions answered confidentially without a fee.
If you are interested in volunteering for Legal Line, please contact Roxane Crowley.
Lawyer for a Day, Friday, April 30
Volunteer attorneys and judges take high school students into the city's courtrooms for an inside look at how the law works. Several city courtrooms open their doors to allow participants to observe proceedings. The day ends with the students participating in a concluding lunch, during which the students will recount their experiences and hear from this year's special guest speaker: Bob Kelly, a pivotal member of the Philadelphia Flyers' Stanley-Cup winning teams in the mid-1970s who now acts as the team's Ambassador of Hockey.
The Trials of Goldilocks and the Big Bad Wolf, Friday, April 30
Volunteer attorneys and judges dress in costume and use facts from the fairytales Goldilocks and The Three Little Pigs to act out mock criminal trials for grade school children at seven different City Hall courtrooms. Volunteers act as prosecutors, defense attorneys and witnesses in the criminal trials, which include opening statements, examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses, closing arguments, and instructions of the juries. At the conclusion of each trial, the students act as the jury and determine whether the Big Bad Wolf or Goldilocks is guilty of a crime.
Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest, Monday, May 3
While no volunteers are needed, a Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new U.S. citizens will be held at the U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, at 10:30 a.m on May 3. Here, the winner of the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest – open to Philadelphia high school seniors and named after a trial attorney and former Chancellor of the Bar Association who awards a $1,000 college scholarship to the winning essayist – will read aloud his or her essay.
All of the Law Week activities are under the direction of Bar Association Chancellor-Elect, Rudolph Garcia, and are coordinated by the Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) with the help of scores of lawyer-volunteers. The Law Week 2010 co-chairs are Carolyn Chopko, YLD Chair-Elect, and Kelly Gastley, YLD Vice Chair.