Commentary: JBA celebrates Law Week with education and philanthropy

This year’s theme, “Voices of Democracy,” encourages a deeper understanding of the electoral process.

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  • | 1:00 a.m. April 4, 2024
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Law Day is an annual event held on May 1 to celebrate the rule of law and provide for a deeper understanding of the legal system and how it protects liberty, justice and freedom.

Law Day was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958. Three years later, Congress designated May 1 as the official day for recognizing Law Day.

The sitting president has issued a Law Day proclamation every year since 1958. Law Day programs are conducted throughout the country and the world by Bar groups, courts, schools and community organizations.

Missy Davenport

The 2024 Law Day theme, “Voices of Democracy,” recognizes that the people rule in a democracy with the goal of encouraging Americans to gain a deeper understating of and to participate in the electoral process.

This year, the U.S. will hold its 60th presidential election which requires Americans to consider important questions about democracy, the rule of law and moving the country forward after free and fair elections.

In honor of Law Day and to further explore this year’s theme, the Jacksonville Bar Association is sponsoring several events in our community.

The JBA Law Day Luncheon is at noon May 1 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown on the Southbank. Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan will be the featured speaker.

The Liberty Bell Award recipient will be recognized at the luncheon.

This award was established more than 40 years ago to recognize outstanding community service provided by a nonlawyer who has contributed to the cause of justice and to the legal community.

The Law Week Committee is accepting nominations for this award through 5 p.m. April 12.

The JBA is sponsoring its annual poster contest which involves Jacksonville volunteer attorneys discussing the Law Week theme with students at West Riverside Elementary School.

Based on these discussions, students create posters interpreting the theme. The posters will be on the JBA website in April, and we encourage all attorneys and members of the public to view the posters and vote for their favorite works of art.

Awards will be presented to the winning students before the end of this school year.

A new event has been added to the calendar this year which provides an opportunity for students at Jean Ribault High School to participate in a speech contest.

The topic is “How Can Young Voices Shape the Future of our Democracy?” and students will write an original composition and submit their recorded speeches for review.

The first-place winner will be invited to present their speech at the Law Day Luncheon and the first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive cash awards.

The JBA and its members, along with the Law Week Committee, also coordinate several fundraising events to benefit our community.

The JBA is conducting an art supplies and toiletries drive through May 3. Visit to review the wish list for this drive and to make a donation.

All donations will automatically be shipped to the JBA offices and the items will be delivered to West Riverside Elementary School in May.

Donations can also be dropped off at the JBA offices at One Independent Drive, Suite 120, in Wells Fargo Center Downtown.

Along with the Jacksonville Beaches Bar Association, the JBA is sponsoring Rendezvous on the Rooftop on April 30 from 6-8 p.m. at Casa Marina’s Penthouse Lounge in Jacksonville Beach.

Admission includes two drink tickets, one raffle ticket and light appetizers. Advance tickets are $25 until April 12, $30 April 13-30 and $35 at the door.

This event benefits Dreams Come True, a Jacksonville nonprofit that grants wishes to children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions.

To date, the JBA has raised more than $31,000 for the dreams of 14 local children.

Go to to register for the event.

Our local legal aid organizations will also have events to celebrate Lay Day.

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid will hold a Veterans Legal Collaborative event April 12 and an event April 20 to create wills for local women veterans. Three Rivers Legal Services will offer Ask A Lawyer events at the Downtown NAACP offices April 20 and May 18.

Attorneys interested in assisting with these events are encouraged to contact Aaron Irving at [email protected] and Samantha Howell at [email protected] for more information.

For tickets and information about all of these events, visit

Missy Davenport is assistant director of admissions at Jacksonville University College of Law.



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