BBA President Paul T. Dacier handed medals out to the students as a reward for their hard work on their posters and essays.
Every year, May 1st marks the official celebration of Law Day—a day to reflect upon the importance of law and the justice system in the United States and to educate young people about how law affects society. BBA President Paul Dacier headed back to Brighton Municipal Court again this year to take part in the annual Law Day celebrations with First Justice David Donnelly, Honorable Patricia Bernstein, and Brighton elementary school students. Students participated in a poster and essay contest on the Law Day theme of “Why Every Vote Matters.”
John McBrine, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, helping a student work on her Law Day poster
Over 80 volunteers visited 1,300 students at ten Boston elementary and high schools during Law Day in the Schools this past week, the largest program in recent history. That’s not the only good news – this year we noticed a significant uptick in Law Day in the Schools volunteers from Junior Fellows (of the BBF Society of Fellows Program) and past/present BBA Public Interest Leaders. We reached out to three of them to hear about their experience teaching about this year’s theme “Why Every Vote Matters” and the importance of community outreach as a Fellow and Public Interest Leader. Here’s what they had to say:
“The first graders at Samuel Adams Elementary School in East Boston were just wonderful. We all had a great time exploring how our democratic system of government works. I was amazed at the depth of their curiosity and sense of fairness. One student even asked a question about Justice Sotomayor. I don’t think I knew my phone number in first grade. Overall, the experience provided a great opportunity to reach out to the Boston community and expose youth to the law. As a Junior Fellow and a member of PILP, I believe it’s very important to give back and I encourage all Fellows and BBA members to participate in public, as they able.”– John McBrine, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, Boston Bar Foundation Junior Fellow & PILP 10
“Law Day in Schools was a great way to spend my lunch hour. I went to Ms. Abid’s fourth grade class at the M.E. Bradley Elementary School in East Boston and all of the kids were really excited to meet me and engaged in our project. We talked for a bit about the importance of voting and then we held an election for the official class candy (Peppermint Patties just barely edged out Twizzlers for the win). At the end, the kids asked some of their burning legal questions like “can you be president if you aren’t born in America?” and “what happens if your parents give you a bad word as a name?” In the end, a great time was had by everyone, and I think everyone learned a little (especially me and my partner).” –David W.S. Lieberman, Day Pitney LLP, Boston Bar Foundation Junior Fellow & PILP 11
“As part of the BBA’s Law Day in the Schools Program, I had the privilege of spending time with a group of energetic second graders at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School talking about why every vote matters. When we discussed the nature of our government and what it means to vote, the students enthusiastically offered tales of accompanying parents to the polls, seeing votes cast behind screens to protect the voter’s privacy, and watching ballots being whisked away into ballot machines. It was inspiring to watch the students engage with the concept of voting and the importance of participation. They were able to recognize the value in voicing their opinions and casting their votes whenever they have the opportunity.”– Emily Hodge, Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, Boston Bar Foundation Junior Fellow & PILP 9