What is Law Week?

Law Day 2019 (May 1) focuses on the theme “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.” Learn more about it here.

Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society

The 2019 Law Week Photography & Poster Contest results are in! Click here.

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.

In honor of Law Day 2019, the Harris County Law Library is exploring free speech from the bench.

Contact Bonnie Simmons at bonnies@hba.org or (713) 759-1133 with any questions.

What are we doing for Law Week?

Special Day at the Courthouse

Law Week 2019 activities began Friday, February 22 when over 400 special needs students and their teachers visited the Historic 1910 Courthouse for guardianship presentations by local and state judges and attorneys, and received resource guides about special education law.

Poster Outreach Workshops

Also in February, the HBA, the Asian American Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association, the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston, and the Houston Lawyers Association sponsored Law Day Poster Outreach Workshops for children in the Chinese Community, East End, and Alvin.

Essay, Photography and Poster Contests

The HBA’s annual Law Week Poster, Essay, and Photography contests ran through Friday, March 1 at 5:00 p.m., with all Harris County-area students invited to participate. Cash prizes for students and their teachers are generously underwritten by: Icon Wealth Partners, LLC, Stratos Legal, and 3b Studio. Winners will be recognized online and in publications and programs. Selected entries will be on display in courthouses and professional buildings downtown. First-place winners will automatically be entered in the statewide contest.

Law Week Committee members gather around a table to view poster contest entries.

Law Week Readings

From April 15 to May 10, volunteers from the Law Week Committee, the Lawyers for Literacy Committee, the Speakers Bureau Committee, and others will read The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story by Darcy Pattison to elementary students in 100 schools throughout Harris County and donate the book to each school’s library. Contact Bonnie Simmons at bonnies@hba.org with inquiries.

See what people are saying about the HBA Law Week Reading Program!

Law Day Contest Entry Displays

Various posters, as well as a copy of the winning essay and a description of Law Day, were displayed for two weeks at various locations in downtown Houston, open for public viewing.

Four Law Day posters, flanked by text posters, line the wall at the Harris County Law Library

Law Day Luncheon

The Houston Young Lawyers Association (HYLA) & Foundation’s annual Law Day Luncheon took place Friday, May 10, with Charles “Chip” Babcock serving as keynote speaker. HYLA presented its Woodrow Seals Outstanding Young Lawyer Award and the HYLA Outstanding Mentor Award at the event. The HBA awarded its first place winners for the Law Day Poster, Essay, and Photography Contests.

Dialogue on Freedom

In October, the Law Week Committee will send teams of judges, lawyers and law students to area high schools for an interactive Dialogue on Freedom presentation based on this year’s Law Day theme.

Dialogue program presenters pose in front of a mural with students at an Aldine high school.

Contact Bonnie Simmons at bonnies@hba.org or (713) 759-1133 with any questions regarding the HBA’s Law Week activities.