May 1, 2017
Contact: Kate Coscarelli
Senior Managing Director Communications
NEW BRUNSWICK - From free legal clinics to mock trial programs to poetry and art, the New Jersey State Bar Foundation is celebrating how the 14th Amendment transformed democracy.
The foundation is the educational arm of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is hosting and funding a wide range of programs to mark this year’s Law Day celebration. While Law Day is officially May 1, the association and foundation expanded the observance with several events this spring.
The American Bar Association designated the 2017 Law Day theme as “The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy” in recognition of the ways the amendment expanded the constitutional protections available to all through its clauses guaranteeing due process and equal protection.
Throughout the months of April and May, the foundation’s children’s mock trial programs, Law Fair and Law Adventure, will culminate with performances of the winning original mock trials at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. In addition, an exhibit of the sketches from its Student Courtroom Artist Contest, which features artwork of high school students drawn from courtroom scenes during the Vincent J. Apruzzese High School Mock Trial Competition, will also be on display in May.
Also, through mini-grants the foundation is cosponsoring events with 13 county and specialty bar associations, where members of the legal profession, the public and students will explore this year’s Law Day theme through art, poetry, essays, videos, mock trials, workshops on municipal court, juvenile, landlord-tenant, employee rights and domestic violence.
A special free evening seminar on wills and estate planning will be held for the public on May 2.
This year’s local events kicked off at a March 29 clinic where dozens of volunteer attorneys offered information and guidance on immigration and other legal issues to members of the public at a free event in Union City.
Attorneys from the New Jersey State Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, Hudson County Bar Association and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, along with Sen. Brian P. Stack, who is the mayor of Union City, and the city’s board of commissioners took part in the event.
It included a general session offering an overview of a variety of legal topics. Following that, attorneys, who were private lawyers, public employees, and victims’ advocates, gave one-on-one legal guidance on a range of legal issues, such as guardianship for children, landlord-tenant issues, divorce, domestic violence restraining orders and criminal law matters, including expungements. Officials said immigration-related issues were a priority of attendees.