April 28, 2014
Free Legal Advice to Mark Citywide Celebration of "Law Week 2014"
The 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association will celebrate Law Week 2014 (Monday, April 28 - Friday, May 2), with a range of free community service events presented by volunteer lawyers and coordinated by the Association's Young Lawyers Division.
Attorneys will offer free legal advice for residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, visit school classrooms, 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. This year's Law Week celebrates the 60th anniversary of the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
All of the Law Week activities are under the direction of Bar Association Chancellor-Elect Albert S. Dandridge III, and are coordinated by the Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division with the help of scores of lawyer-volunteers. The Law Week 2014 co-chairs are Maria E. Bermudez of the law firm of Martin LLC, and Erin Lamb of the First Judicial District.
The following is a schedule of Law Week 2014 activities:
Legal Advice Live!: Monday, April 28
Legal Advice Live! kicks off Law Week 2014 with dozens of Philadelphia lawyers gathering to provide free, in-person confidential legal advice to the public 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.) where Spanish-speaking attorneys will be available; Haverford (5543 Haverford Ave.); and Thomas F. Donatucci, Sr. (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, and employment law.
Lawyer in the Classroom: Tuesday, April 29 and Wednesday, April 30
The Lawyer in the Classroom program features lawyers visiting different Philadelphia schools throughout the week to address students' concerns about the law and the legal issues that affect them as they enter adulthood, as well as to answer questions about the legal profession. On April 29, lawyers will meet with students at the Parkway West High School at 4725 Fairmount Ave. from 7:45 to 11:30 a.m.; McCall Elementary School at 7th and Spruce Streets from 9 to 10 a.m. and 12:45-1:45 p.m.; and Independence Charter School at 16th and Lombard Streets from 1 to 2 p.m. On April 30, lawyers will meet with students at the Creative and Performing Arts School at Broad and Christian streets from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 12 to 1 p.m.; Freire Charter School at 2027 Chestnut St. from 8 to 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Greenfield Elementary School at 22nd and Chestnut streets from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Naturalization Ceremony: Thursday, May 1
A dramatic Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new U.S. citizens will be held on Thursday, May 1 at the U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market Streets, at 10:30 a.m. Remarks will be provided by Philadelphia Bar Foundation President Deborah R. Gross, Esq. At this event, the winner of the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest - named after former Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Edward F. Chacker of the law firm of Gay Chacker & Mittin, PC - will read aloud his or her essay on rights and responsibilities under the law. The winning Philadelphia high school junior or senior will be awarded a $1,000 college scholarship.
LegalLine Free Legal Advice Hotline: Wednesday, April 30
Volunteer attorneys will provide free legal advice to residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties who call the LegalLine hotline from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30. 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.
"Goldilocks," "The Big Bad Wolf" and "Jack and the Beanstalk" Mock Trials: Friday, May 2
Volunteer judges from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and attorneys dressed as fairytale characters from "Goldilocks," "The Big Bad Wolf" and "Jack and the Beanstalk" gather on Friday, May 2 at City Hall Room 653 at 9:30 a.m. to use facts from the fairytales to act out mock criminal trials for approximately 350 elementary school children. Volunteers will fan out in City Hall courtrooms to 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 characters are guilty of a crime.
Lawyer for a Day: Friday, May 2
Volunteer attorneys from the Philadelphia Bar Association will accompany Philadelphia high school students into the city's courtrooms to witness live court proceedings at City Hall and the Criminal Justice Center as part of "Lawyer for a Day."
The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at Philadelphia Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, where students will gather to 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 Bar Association Chancellor-Elect Albert S. Dandridge III will welcome the students and Dr. Donald F. Tibbs, Race & Law Professor at Drexel University School of Law, who will offer a moving presentation on the 60th anniversary of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education. Winning posters from the Association's Law Week Poster Contest, open to area elementary schools, will be on display. Winning students receive gift certificates.
Remembering the Legacy: Brown v. Board of Education - 60 Years Later: Friday, May 2
The Philadelphia Bar Association and The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia are partnering to host a commemorative event in honor of the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. The event will begin at 4 p.m. at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church at 419 S. 6th St. The deadline to register is Tuesday, April 29.
The program will include keynote remarks from Harold Jackson, editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial page. Additional speakers include 45th Governor of Pennsylvania, Hon. Edward G. Rendell; Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler; Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor William P. Fedullo, Esq.; and The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia President Amber Racine, Esq.
The event will feature the premiere of a commemorative video created especially for this occasion featuring numerous Philadelphia attorneys and judges who will offer personal reflections and discuss the impact the Brown v. Board of Education decision had on their lives and careers.