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Law Day Announcement
May 1, is recognized as a national day of observance and celebration of the rule of law in the United States. This observance provides an opportunity to reflect on the contributions and importance of the law, the courts and the legal process that is guaranteed to all Americans.
Each year, the Superior Court of New Jersey - Essex Vicinage organizes its annual Law Day Celebration. This annual program was initiated in 1997 and typically takes place during the first week in May. The Law Day program was developed and implemented by the Essex Law Day Committee composed of judges and staff as well as representatives from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the Essex County Bar Association.
Law Day Events are planned around a theme that the American Bar Association selects each year, and includes various related components. The celebration provides the court with an opportunity to educate the community about our great laws and system of government. The Essex Vicinage Law Day program has enjoyed great success and in 2006 won an Outstanding Activity Award from the American Bar Association.
Schools that are interested in learning more about Law Day may contact the Office of the Ombudsman ator email your inquiry to
Schools and individual students are invited to join the Essex Vicinage for the following events.
Mock Trial Program
A mock trial is a simulation of an actual trial that would take place in a trial court for a civil or criminal case. The purpose of our mock trial program is to educate students on the legal system and court processes as well as allow them interact with judges, attorneys and other legal professionals. A fact pattern, which is utilized as the script, provides a summary of the details of the case to be presided over. In Essex, interested groups may register to participate in a mock trial and other activities as part of the annual Law Day Program. Registration information can be found in the late fall and early winter months (starting in November or December) at the Judiciary’s website. The date of the mock trial is provided in advance so that schools may determine their availability to participate prior to registering. At the end of the registration deadline the Essex Vicinage Law Day Committee gathers the information and pairs each school with a mock trial team consisting of a judge and two attorneys. Each team will coordinate with the school/group to visit them on the assigned date and time to conduct the mock trial with the students.
Other Law Day Activities
Art Contest: This contest is open to Essex County students in grades K-12. Submissions may include artistic renditions that relate to the Law Day theme. This includes mixed media of magazine, newspaper, fabric, paint, marker, pencil or computer generated images and sculpted art. Contest rules and registration forms are available online. For additional information, see the Art Contest Rules.
Writing Contest: This contest is open to Essex County middle and high school students. Submissions may be in the form of an essay or poem. Contest rules and registration forms are available online. Writing submissions should be formatted as a MS Word document or copy and pasted in the body of an email, then emailed to EssexLawDay.email@example.com. For additional information, see the Writing Contest Rules.
Video Contest: This contest is open to Essex County students in grades K-12. Contest rules and registration forms are available online. Video submissions must be submitted with written lyrics, script or description in a Word document or in the body of an email along with the recording of the performance and emailed to EssexLawDay.firstname.lastname@example.org (5 minutes maximum for each entry). For additional information, see the Video Contest Rules .
Contact the ombudsman ator for information about upcoming Law Day events. You can also visit the American Bar Association Law Day website for national Law Day information.
Congratulations to our Art Contest, Writing Contest, and Video Contest winners! The Essex Vicinage Law Day Souvenir Booklet includes the names and schools of all students who won awards. It also includes all of the winning art, essay, and poetry entries as well as screen shots from the winning videos.
History of Law Day
Prior to 1958, the first day of May was known as May Day. It was designated as the day to remember the struggles of workers in their fight for better wages and working conditions. This was also the day when the Soviet Union and other communist countries demonstrated their military strength with massive parades. The May Day parades in the Soviet Union would display military troops with new war weapons, military vehicles, missiles and tanks.
To redirect the American public’s focus from military strength to the virtues and principles of government under law, American Bar Association (ABA) President Charles S. Rhynes, drafted a proclamation declaring May 1 Law Day. The purpose of Law Day is to increase the public’s awareness of the rule of law, praises our constitutional system of government and our great heritage under the rule of law.
On February 5, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the proclamation declaring May 1 to be Law Day in the United States. Three years later, Congress passed a joint resolution establishing the official date for Law Day as May 1.