What is Law Week?

Law Day 2017 (May 1) highlights “The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy,” asking students to consider why it is important that all people receive equal protection under the law. Law Day is a national celebration of the rule of law in our society. It has been sponsored and promoted by the American Bar Association since 1961, when President Dwight Eisenhower designated it a national holiday. The HBA joins local and state bar associations nationwide in sponsoring activities surrounding May 1. While the HBA calls its celebration “Law Week,” it encompasses much more.

The Law Week Essay contest was established in late 1970s; poster contest was established in 1986; school reading program was established in 2003, as was the dialogue program, the photography contest was established in 2012. The Special Needs Day at the Courthouse began in 2013.

What are we doing for Law Week?

Law Week activities kicked off in February when over 400 special needs students and their teachers were invited to the historic 1910 Courthouse for presentations by local and state judges, as well as assistance with ideas for creating posters and photos for the HBA’s Law Day contests.

Also in February, the HBA joined the Asian American Bar Association, the Houston Lawyers Association, the Hispanic Bar Association, and the Mexican-American Bar Association to sponsor Law Day Poster Workshops for children in the Chinese Community, Third Ward, and East End.

The HBA’s annual Law Week Poster, Essay, and Photography contests ran through March 3, with all area schools invited to participate. Cash prizes for students and their teachers were generously underwritten by: ICON Wealth Partners, LLC, Stratos Legal, 3b Studio, Daniella Landers, and an anonymous donor.

The winners of this year’s contests are listed here.

The State Bar of Texas’ Law Week contests have concluded. Click here to see their list of winners, which includes some of ours!

From late April through early May, volunteers from the Law Week Committee, the Lawyers for Literacy Committee, the Speakers Bureau Committee, and others will read the book Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy to elementary students in 100 schools throughout Harris County, then donate the book to each school’s library.

The annual Law Day Luncheon, sponsored by the Houston Young Lawyers Association (HYLA) & Foundation, is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Marriot Marquis Houston. The keynote speaker will be Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. HYLA will present its Woodrow Seals Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, the HYLA Outstanding Mentor Award, and the Liberty Bell Award at the event. For ticket information, contact Law Day Committee Co-Chairs Kelley Clark or Alex Farias-Sorrels, or visit hyla.org.