Celebrate Law Day on April 30 at Greenfield Community College and May 1 at the Hampshire County Courthouse
The public is invited to join the Office of Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan and Franklin and Hampshire counties bar associations in celebrating Law Day 2019.
The Franklin County event is Tuesday, April 30 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Greenfield Community College in the Dining Commons, 1 College Drive; the Hampshire County event is May 1, 9-11 a.m. in the Old Superior Courtroom at the Hampshire County Courthouse, 15 Gothic Street in Northampton.
Panels of experts at both events will address this year’s theme, Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society. Student scholarship winners will be recognized at the Franklin County event; Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School students will perform skits and prosecutors and defense attorneys will lead court tours at the Hampshire County Courthouse.
Established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and designated in 1961 by a joint resolution of Congress to take place on May 1, Law Day celebrates the rule of law. According to the American Bar Association, "Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share" and "provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in this democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts." Nationwide, Law Day events take place on or around May 1.
“Law Day is a great opportunity for the public and students to learn more about the foundations of our justice system,” Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan said.
Moderator Greenfield Community College Dean of Humanities Leo Hwang will lead a panel discussion in Franklin County with panelists Karen Brown, a New England Public Radio senior reporter; Shaheen Pasha, journalist and senior lecturer at the UMass journalism department and Greenfield Recorder Editor Joan Livingston.
In Hampshire County, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Ponsor and Attorney Jeffrey Pyle will speak on a PVPA student-moderated panel, introduced by Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan. PVPA students will perform skits and the day will wrap up with always popular court tours with defense attorneys and prosecutors.