April 15, 2019
Law Week 2019 Brings the Philadelphia Bar Association to the Community At-Large
The Philadelphia Bar Association will celebrate Law Week 2019 during Monday, April 29 to Friday, May 3 with an array of free community service events coordinated by the association’s Young Lawyers Division and presented by volunteer lawyers.
Lawyers will offer free legal advice for residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, visit school classrooms, guide children on tours of the city’s courtrooms and present mock criminal trials for grade school students during the week-long celebration. This year’s Law Week theme, as identified by the American Bar Association, is “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.” Free speech and free press are prominent topics in public discourse and litigation. It is impossible to imagine a free society without these individual liberties, yet historical and current debates surrounding them continually challenge us to consider their boundaries and resilience.
“This is our Division’s biggest week, and we look forward with excitement each year to engaging with Philadelphians of all ages,” said Michaella Tassinari, chair of the Young Lawyers Division. “Each day has a new activity where we can teach the community what it’s like to be a lawyer, and the importance of the rule of law.”
Law Week 2019 is co-chaired by association Chancellor-Elect Hon. A. Michael Snyder (Ret.) and Young Lawyers Division Chair-Elect Hillary Ladov. Under their leadership, all Law Week activities are staffed by scores of lawyer-volunteers.
Lawyer in the Classroom: Monday, April 29 & Tuesday, April 30
The Lawyer in the Classroom program features lawyers visiting different Philadelphia schools to address students’ concerns about the law and the legal issues that affect them as they enter adulthood, as well as to answer questions about the legal profession.
Law Day Naturalization Ceremony: Wednesday, May 1
A Naturalization Ceremony welcoming dozens of new U.S. citizens will be held on Wednesday, May 1, at the U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market St., at 10:30 a.m. Hon. John R. Padova, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, will preside and association Chancellor Rochelle M. Fedullo will offer remarks. During the ceremony, the winner of the Edward F. Chacker Essay Contest – named after former association Chancellor Edward F. Chacker – will read aloud his or her essay on the Law Week theme. The winning Philadelphia high school junior or senior will be awarded a $1,000 college scholarship.
Legal Advice Live!: Wednesday, May 1
Dozens of Philadelphia lawyers will gather to provide free, in-person confidential legal advice to the public from 12 - 2 p.m. at five branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia: Central (1901 Vine St., First Floor, Heim Center); Haverford (5543 Haverford Ave.); Kensington (104 W. Dauphin St.); Northeast Regional Library (2228 Cottman Ave.); and Thomas F. Donatucci Sr. (1935 Shunk St.). Attorneys will provide answers to legal questions on a broad range of topics including personal injury, medical malpractice, landlord/tenant law and much more.
LegalLine Free Legal Advice Hotline: Wednesday, May 1
Volunteer attorneys will provide free legal advice to residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties who call the LegalLine hotline from 5 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1. Area residents can call lawyers at 215-238-6333 and have their legal questions answered confidentially without a fee. The lawyers will staff a phone bank at the offices of the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor.
Lawyer for a Day: Thursday, May 2
Philadelphia Bar Association members will accompany Philadelphia high school students into the city’s courtrooms to witness live court proceedings at City Hall and the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the association’s offices, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, where students will gather to embark on their courtroom tours at 9 a.m. The event concludes with a 12 p.m. luncheon back at the association, where Chancellor-Elect Hon. A. Michael Snyder (Ret.) will welcome students.
‘Gold E. Locks and the Big Bad Wolf’ & ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ Mock Trials: Friday, May 3
Volunteer judges from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and lawyers dressed as characters from “Gold E. Locks and the Big Bad Wolf” and “Jack and the Beanstalk” will perform mock criminal trials based on these fairytales for over 250 elementary school children on Friday, May 3 at City Hall at 9 a.m. Following opening remarks in the Ceremonial Courtroom, students and volunteers will disperse to City Hall courtrooms to act as prosecutors, defense attorneys and witnesses in the criminal mock trials that will include opening statements, examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses, closing arguments and instructions for the juries. After each trial, the students act as the jury and determine whether the characters are guilty of a crime.