Law Day — May 1, 2014

Why every vote matters

by Kelly Tait

The 20Why every vote matters14 Law Day theme is “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters”. Driving forces for this theme are the approaching 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as well as the continuing issues related to ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy.

Law Day was started in 1958 by President Eisenhower to celebrate the rule of law and to educate citizens on how law and legal processes support American freedoms, with an emphasis on the role of courts in our democracy. Law Day is May 1.

The American Bar Association’s Law Day website,, provides judicial branch educators with some great tools for community outreach. The site is well-organized and provides easy access to numerous resources including: the Law Day 2014 planning guide; Law Day videos; reflections on the theme and strategies for incorporating it; downloadable artwork; resources and ideas for programming and promotion; and suggestions for documentaries and nonfiction books. While there are programming ideas for all ages and different types of organizations, there is a section with recommendations specifically for the legal community.

Ideas for activities that are well-suited to the courts include court tours, information fairs, mock trials, and book/movie discussions. In addition to the web-based tips, ideas, and resources, the ABA also offers individual assistance through Chandra Fitzpatrick, outreach manager for the ABA Division for Public Education, at (312) 988-5720 or .