April 25, 2016
Free Legal Advice to Mark Citywide Celebration of "Law Week 2016"
The 12,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association will celebrate Law Week 2016 (Monday, May 2 – Friday, May 6), with a range of free community service events presented by volunteer lawyers and coordinated by the Association's Young Lawyers Division.
"This is an opportunity as members of our profession to meaningfully provide service to the many citizens of our city who are not lawyers, and fulfill the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's mandate to support this type of important programming," said Erin Lamb, Chair of 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 week-long fest, one of the most ambitious public outreach efforts of its type in the nation. This year's Law Week theme, as identified by the American Bar Association, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the nation's best-known U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona, which declared that a person must be read their Fifth Amendment right to not make any self-incriminating statements when being taken into police custody.
Law Week 2016 is co-chaired by Association Chancellor-Elect Deborah R. Gross and Young Lawyers Division Chair-Elect Matthew Olesh. Under their leadership, all Law Week activities are staffed by scores of lawyer-volunteers.
The following is a schedule of Law Week 2016 activities:
Lawyer in the Classroom: Monday, May 2 & Wednesday, May 4
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 May 2, lawyers will meet with students at Freire Charter School at 2027 Chestnut St. from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Albert M. Greenfield School at 2200 Chestnut St. from 1:30 to 2:10 p.m.; South Philadelphia High School at 2101 S. Broad St. from 1 to 2 p.m.; J. Hampton Moore Elementary School at 6900 Summerdale Ave. from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Roman Catholic High School at 301 N. Broad St. from 8:15 a.m. to 1:05 p.m. and James G. Blaine Academics Plus at 3001 W. Berks St. from 9 to 9:45 a.m. On May 4, lawyers will meet with students at J. Hampton Moore Elementary School at 6900 Summerdale Ave. from 9:45 to 11:15 a.m.; Girard Academic Music Program at 2136 W. Ritner St. from 8:45 to 10:15 a.m.; James G. Blaine Academics Plus at 3001 W. Berks St. from 10 to 10:45 a.m. and the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts at 901 S. Broad St. from 8:50 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Legal Advice Live!: Tuesday, May 3
Legal Advice Live!: Dozens of Philadelphia lawyers will gather 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.
LegalLine P.M. Free Legal Advice Hotline: Wednesday, May 4
Volunteer attorneys will provide free legal advice to residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties who call the LegalLine P.M. hotline from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4. 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 St., 11th Floor.
Naturalization Ceremony: Thursday, May 5
A Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new U.S. citizens will be held on Thursday, May 5 at the U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market streets, at 10:30 a.m. The Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe will be presiding and remarks will be provided by Association Chancellor-Elect Deborah R. Gross. At this event, the winner of the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest – named after past 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.
Lawyer for a Day: Thursday, May 5
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 9:30 a.m. at 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 Association Chancellor-Elect Deborah R. Gross will welcome students. Winning posters from the Association's Law Week Poster Contest, open to area elementary schools, will be on display. Winning students receive gift certificates.
"Gold E. Locks and the Big Bad Wolf" & "Jack and the Beanstalk" Mock Trials: Friday, May 6
Volunteer judges from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and attorneys dressed as fairytale characters "Gold E. Locks and the Big Bad Wolf" and characters from "Jack and the Beanstalk" will gather on Friday, May 6 at City Hall Room 653 at 9:00 a.m. to use facts from the fairytales to act out mock criminal trials for approximately 300 elementary school children. Volunteers will fan out in City Hall courtrooms to act as prosecutors, defense attorneys and witnesses in the criminal trials that 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.