Members of the public are welcome to attend two 2018 Law Day events, a talk and guided tours of the beautiful new Franklin County Justice Center in Greenfield, Tuesday, May 1, 9:30-11 a.m. and a talk and guided tours of the Hampshire County Courthouse, Thursday, May 3, 9-11 a.m.
Established in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower and officially designated by Congress in 1961 to take place every year on May 1, Law Day marks the nation's commitment to the Rule of Law. This year’s theme is “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.”
Around 140 local students and their teachers are expected to attend each event, organized by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, the Hampshire and Franklin Bar Associations and staff from the Hampshire and Franklin Courthouse.
Prosecutors, defense attorneys and others will lead the tours, which promise to be fun and educational.
“Law Day provides an exciting opportunity for students and community members to learn about our justice system,” Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan said.
Civil rights attorney Buz Eisenberg will speak at the Franklin Justice Center in Greenfield, 43 Hope Street, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Western New England Law School Professor and Dean for Faculty Development and Intellectual Life Sudha Setty will be the keynote speaker at the Hampshire County event, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Old Superior Courtroom, 15 Gothic Street in Northampton.
Students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School will perform skits they created related to separation of powers at the Hampshire County event.
In Greenfield, the Franklin County Bar Association as part of its Law Day celebrations will present the 2018 Liberty Bell Award to Greenfield Community College’s President Robert Pura and Dean of Humanities Leo Hwang.
The Liberty Bell is given to non-attorneys who have made exceptional contributions to justice in Franklin County. The award will be given at 4:30 p.m. at Hope and Olive restaurant, 43 Hope St.; during a reception from 4 to 5 p.m. Pura and Hwang are being honored for implementing an innovative program called “Changing Lives Through Literature,” in the Franklin County courts. The program aims to use the power of literature to transform the lives of individuals on probation through reading and group discussion. Using the model, judges, probation officers and individuals serving on probation are equal participants in a 10-week class led by a college professor.
Schools attending the Greenfield event include Greenfield High School, Frontier Regional High School, Four Rivers Charter Public School, Northfield Mount Hermon, Franklin County Technical School, Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School.
Schools attending the Northampton event include Amherst Regional High School, Hampshire Regional High School, South Hadley High School, Turners Falls High School, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School.