Celebrate Law Week 2009
Law Week 2009 kicked off yesterday and volunteer lawyers will be reaching out to the community all week in a variety of ways.
The week-long fest, sponsored by the 13,000-member Bar Association, is one of the most ambitious public outreach efforts of its type in the nation. The theme for Law Week 2009 is "A Legacy of Liberty: Celebrating Lincoln's Bicentennial."
All of the Law Week activities are under the direction of Association Chancellor-Elect, Scott F. Cooper, and are coordinated by the Association's Young Lawyers Division with the help of scores of lawyer-volunteers. The YLD Law Week co-chairs are Abbie DuFrayne, Kelly Gastley and Carey Chopko.
The following is a schedule of remaining Law Week activities:
Legal Advice Live!, Wednesday, April 29: At lunchtime, dozens of Philadelphia attorneys will gather to provide free, in-person legal advice during the Legal Advice Live! program, from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Central (Main) Branch of the Philadelphia Library, located at 1901 Vine Street, and other satellite branch locations throughout the city. 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 Wednesday, April 29, free legal advice will be given to those who call the Legal Line hotline. From 5 to 8 p.m., 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.
Juror Appreciation Day, Thursday, May 14: The First Judicial District and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts will sponsor the 10th Annual Juror Appreciation Day at 8:30 a.m. in the Criminal Justice Center's Jury Assembly Room on the first floor to recognize the crucial public service performed by local citizens who respond to jury duty.
Lawyer for a Day, Friday, May 1: Volunteer attorneys and judges pair with high school students and "show them the ropes" of their jobs by taking them into the courts during the Lawyer for a Day program. Several city courtrooms will be open to allow the participants to observe the proceedings. The students will meet the lawyers and judges and will participate in a concluding lunch, during which the students will recount their experiences and hear from a special guest speaker, Judge Midge Rendell, the first lady of Pennsylvania .
Also on Friday, May 1, a Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new United States citizens will be held at the U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, at 10:30 a.m. The winner of the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest will also read his or her essay.
Finally on Friday, May 1, volunteer attorneys will use the facts of the well-known fairytales "Goldilocks" and "The Three Little Pigs" as the basis for mock criminal trials during the "Trials of Goldilocks" and the "Big Bad Wolf" program, taking place at six different City Hall courtrooms. Volunteers will 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 are instructed on the role of the jury and determine whether the Big Bad Wolf or Goldilocks is guilty of a crime.