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What is Law Day?

Law Day, May 1, is a national day set aside annually to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in our democratic republic and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.

How did Law Day begin?

The tradition of celebrating Law Day began in 1958 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed that every year on May 1 we as a nation “should remember with pride” how our laws help people to be treated fairly and how our laws have inspired other countries to treat their citizens more fairly. In 1961, Congress, by joint resolution, designated May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day.

Why Law Day is celebrated on May 1?

Why Law Day is celebrated on May 1 is a very interesting history lesson.  When the Soviet Union existed and was a major world power, the Soviets had a parade every year on May 1 to display their new weapons.  This parade showed that the Soviet Union was a nation that ruled by force.  To demonstrate the difference between our nations, American politicians and lawyers wanted to show that we were a nation that is ruled by laws made by our citizens so we began celebrating Law Day on May 1.

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How is Law Day celebrated?

As part of the Law Day celebration, The Missouri Bar, along with judges, lawyers and court clerks, thank the thousands of Missourians who report for jury duty in state courts each year. The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section sponsors an art contest and an essay contest for Missouri students in celebration of Law Day to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the law and the legal system among students.

Law Day programs are designed to help people understand how the law keeps us free and how our legal system strives to achieve justice. Thousands of Law Day programs are conducted for youth and adults across the country. Find Law Day events, news, history and more on the Law Day website, www.lawday.org.

The Missouri Bar is a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving the legal profession, the law and the administration of justice for all Missourians. Created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri, it serves all 30,000 of Missouri’s practicing lawyers. The Missouri Bar provides a wide range of services and resources to its members, as well as the media, educators and the citizens of Missouri. To learn more about The Missouri Bar, visit www.mobar.org and www.MissouriLawyersHelp.org.

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