Today is Law Day!  Since 1958 the United States has officially recognized May 1 as Law Day to celebrate the role of law in the foundation of the country and its importance for society. The American Bar Association takes a leading role in promoting Law Day, selecting an annual theme for a wide range of activities and educational resources [Law Day (] Here is the theme the ABA chose for this year:

The 2023 Law Day theme is “Cornerstones of Democracy: Civics, Civility, and Collaboration.” We invite everyone to join us in rebuilding trust in our institutions, respect for one another, and our willingness to collaborate to address the challenges that face our nation. 

In recent years, tensions in our democratic system have revealed deep divisions in American society. These divisions are aggravated by incivility in public discourse and insufficient understanding among many people about the Constitution and the way American government works. Together, however, we can collaborate to overcome our differences, resolve our disputes, and preserve our democracy and republic. To that end, we call on members of the legal profession to lead the way in promoting civics, civility, and collaboration—the cornerstones of our democracy.

Law Day activities occur on or near May 1 across the country, sponsored by local bar associations and by courts, educational institutions, and other legal-oriented organizations.  The ABA Law Day website has a wealth of information to help local groups with their Law Day activities.  For instance, the ABA Cornerstones of Democracy “Conversation Guide” helps guide efforts to engage the public (  Here are some other good resources related to this year’s theme:

  • The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute ( has wonderful resources, including its Civics for Life program (Home – Civics For Life).  “Civics for Life is a multigenerational online resource center for civics education, civil discourse, and civic engagement.  This free online learning platform addresses the knowledge gap of Americans who did not receive civics education during their school years.”
  • The National Center for State Courts honors Law Day through its annual Civics Education Essay Contest, which gives 3rd-12th grade students the opportunity to understand and explain the importance and the role of the United States government.
  • The Center for Civic Education (Home – has developed curricular materials and “provides professional development for teachers to help students develop (1) an increased understanding of the institutions of constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, (2) the skills necessary to participate as competent and responsible citizens, and (3) the willingness to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict.”

Whether or not a local court or legal organization already has a Law Day activity, the promotion of Civics, Civility, and Collaboration should be part of their ongoing efforts to engage the public and promote the Rule of Law.  A good way is to implement the National Association for Court Management’s Core Competencies that relate to civic engagement, such as Public Trust and Confidence, Accountability, Court Performance, and Public Relations [Core® Competencies – National Association for Court Management (].

Congratulations go to all who are working this Law Day to make our legal system better for the public we serve.  And, it is not too early to think about what you can do for Law Day 2024!

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