Free Legal Advice, Student Programs Mark Law Week 2012, April 30 – May 4
The Philadelphia Bar Association will celebrate Law Week 2012 next week, April 30 – May 4, 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 "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom."
The following is a schedule of Law Week 2012 activities:
Legal Advice Live!, Monday, April 30
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.
Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest and Naturalization Ceremony, Tuesday, May 1
On Tuesday, May 1, 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 1, through Thursday, May 3
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.
Legal Line, Wednesday, May 2
Free legal advice will be given to those who call the Legal Line hotline from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 2. The program is being sponsored by Fox Rothschild LLP. 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 4
Volunteer attorneys from the Philadelphia Bar Association will accompany Philadelphia high school students into the city’s courtrooms to witness live court proceedings on Friday, May 4, as part of “Lawyer for a Day,” the culminating event of the Bar Association’s Law Week 2012 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 City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith will speak to the students. Bar Association Chancellor-Elect Kathleen D. Wilkinson will also address the audience.
The Trials of Goldilocks and the Big Bad Wolf, Friday, May 4, 9:30 AM, 653 City Hall
Volunteer attorneys and judges dress in costume and use facts from the fairytales “Goldilocks”, “Jack and the Beanstalk” 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.
All of the Law Week activities are under the direction of Bar Association Chancellor-Elect, Kathleen D. Wilkinson, and are coordinated by the Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) with the help of scores of lawyer-volunteers. The Law Week 2011 co-chairs are Roxane Crowley and Matt Laver.