Law Day is held every May 1st throughout the nation to celebrate the rule of law. It was established in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower to mark the nation’s rule of law and codified by Congress in 1961. Law Day underscores how the law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.
Each year, the American Bar Association designates a Law Day theme and provides free resources and materials to assist bar associations and lawyers in planning law day events such as educational community forums, contests, and school visits.
"Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society" is the 2019 Law Day theme chosen by the American Bar Association. The ABA's Law Day 2019 Planning Guide and resources are available at
The ABA notes the following about the 2019 theme, "In the United States and around the world, freedom of speech and the press are among the most important foundations for a 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. Changes in technology have reshaped how free speech and free press work in the everyday world.”
To learn more about Law Day and to find helpful lesson plans from K-College for the 2019 and past themes, visit
Pennsylvania has traditionally commemorated Law Day by focusing on educating children about the rule of law. Through classroom visits by lawyers and judges and an outstanding set of free law-related lesson plans prepared for K-College classrooms, the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, Pennsylvania Bar Association and county bar associations across the commonwealth work with schools to educate children about their legal rights and responsibilities in the new millennium. Lawyers can choose to focus on discussing the annual ABA theme, their own experience or and careers, or discussing topics designated by the schools. The free lessons and materials are designed to be informative and engaging for all students.
Law Day provides Pennsylvania lawyers and judges with a wonderful opportunity to become involved in their local communities. Law Day is funded by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.