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Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 9, 201806:20 AM EST

A day is not enough: Jacksonville Bar Association preparing for Law Week

The for 2018 is “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.”
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower established Law Day as a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law. Three years later, Congress designated May 1 as the annual date of observance.

The American Bar Association selects a theme each year. For 2018 it’s “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.”

The Jacksonville Bar Association’s tradition expands on the idea with a schedule of events that begins almost a month before Law Day to allow its members to connect with students and prospective U.S. Citizens, as well as each other.

The culmination of the local observance is the association’s annual Law Day luncheon, this year on May 2. Members and guests will gather to contemplate how the separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government contribute to democracy and the law.

At the luncheon, the association will announce its annual “Liberty Bell Award,” which honors a nonlawyer who has made an exemplary contribution to the legal community.

Also on the agenda is presentation of the annual Daily Record Lawyer of the Year award, and the document signed by Mayor Lenny Curry, proclaiming the week beginning May 1 as Law Week, will be read.

The schedule of events began Saturday, when nearly 100 immigrants  attended “Citizenship Day” at Florida Coastal School of Law.

Sponsored by the  American Immigration Law Association, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, it’s a legal clinic where prospective citizens consulted with an attorney, free of charge, to ensure they are on the right path to citizenship.

The Law Week naturalization ceremony is April 26 at the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse, when people from countries all over the world will be sworn in as U.S. citizens.

Also April 26, the JBA hosts “Rendezvous on the Rooftop” at Intuition Ale Works, a happy hour for association members and their guests.

Committee members a few weeks ago visited four art classes at West Riverside Elementary School and explained to students what is meant by “separation of powers” in preparation for the young artists creating posters that reflect their interpretation of the theme.

The posters will be displayed for two weeks beginning April 17 in the atrium at the Duval County Courthouse. The public is invited to vote for their favorite.

In conjunction with the poster contest, there’s a drive to collect art supplies for the art classes at West Riverside and toiletries that will be donated to Downtown Ecumenical Services.

For more details about Law Week, visit 

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