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Law Day 2013: ‘Realizing the Dream: Equality for All’

by The JBA Board of Governors member Geddes Anderson

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower recognized Law Day to strengthen our great heritage of liberty, justice and equality under law.

In 1961, May 1 was selected by a joint resolution of Congress as the official date for celebrating Law Day.

Every year, May 1 remains the official date, but Law Day has evolved into Law Week — or weeks — as the American Bar Association is joined by national organizations, state and local Bars and businesses and schools in conducting thousands of programs on the rule of law in a constitutional democracy.

The Jacksonville Bar Association has established its Law Day, in part, to help people in the Jacksonville community understand how law keeps us free and how our legal system strives to achieve justice.

Law Day for The JBA is one of the primary ways it interacts with our community.

Law Day also is a time to celebrate the legal profession in Jacksonville and honor those who have made significant contributions to the legal community and the Jacksonville community at-large.

This event honors not only attorneys, but also those non-attorneys who have provided much needed assistance to the legal community.

A key aspect of Law Day is The JBA's annual Law Day Luncheon. This year the event will be held at noon April 25 at the Lower West Club of EverBank Field.

As has been the case in years past, the event will feature speakers from the legal community as well as a special keynote speaker.

This year, The JBA is proud to present Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan as the keynote speaker.

Khan has generously agreed to take part and his views and insights will be a wonderful addition to an already great event.

It is indeed fitting that Khan will speak in light of this year's Law Day theme, "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All."

Khan's amazing story of a 16-year-old Pakistani lad's ascension from dishwasher to billionaire illustrates how the entrepreneurial spirit can lead to the American Dream — an unreachable dream without equality for all.

In addition to the speakers, Law Day is a time to honor a select few of deserving individuals for their contributions to the Jacksonville legal community.

Multiple awards are presented, including the Liberty Bell Award, which honors a non-attorney who has provided much needed assistance to the legal community.

In addition to the Liberty Bell, the Lawyer of the Year Award will be presented to an attorney who exemplifies the principles of what an attorney should be.

The Jacksonville Bar Association also will host numerous events throughout April and May to celebrate Law Day.

National Citizenship Day will be held April 13 at Florida Coastal School of Law.

Rendezvous on the River, a happy-hour event benefiting Dreams Come True, will be April 25 at Fionn MacCool's at the Landing.

There also will be an art supply and toiletries drive benefiting S.P. Livingston and Windy Hill elementary schools along with Downtown Ecumenical Services. Bins already have been dispersed throughout the legal community.

Law Day culminates May 2 with the Edwards & Ragatz "Law Day in May" party.

In addition to the leadership of JBA President Ray Driver, special acknowledgments go out to Michael Lockamy of The Bedell Firm and the Law Day committee for an outstanding Law Day.

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