"Conversations on the Constitution" program -- A celebration of Law Day

Issue May 2006

Since 1961, communities across the United States have marked May 1 as "Law Day," a national celebration that focuses attention on our heritage of liberty under law. This year, the Massachusetts Bar Association is demonstrating its continued support of Law Day through its Conversations program.

In the wake of Sept. 11, the American Bar Association developed Conversations on Law & Liberty in Times of Crisis, a program designed to encourage public discussion of complex legal and civic issues facing our nation. By considering the role of law and legal issues in our society, Americans gained perspective on how we might respond to changing conditions and circumstances, appreciate the significance of our liberties and engage in civil discourse about our nation's future.

Since Sept. 11, the MBA utilized this approach in developing other law-related programming. In 2004, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the MBA sent attorneys out to schools to discuss this decision, which brought an end to the legal doctrine of "separate but equal."

This year, the MBA is offering a program on Conversations on the Constitution to middle schools throughout the commonwealth. We are organizing volunteers to facilitate 45-90 minute programs to be held throughout the month of May at middle schools in their community. This year's program will focus on important constitutional issues, such as separation of powers, advice and consent of the senate and unreasonable search and seizures.