For immediate release: September 28, 2006
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Essex Superior Court Receives National Award for Law Day Programming
Essex Superior Court has received an Outstanding Law Day Activity Award for 2006 by the American Bar Association.
The ABA awards program gives national recognition to programs that find creative ways to reach schools and the community, and who have forged partnerships with other groups about the benefits of the rule of law. The Essex Vicinage program met these criteria with three major activities: mock trials, student art and essay contests, and a luncheon and awards program.
"Our judges and staff worked particularly hard on this year's events and I am very proud that our programs has received national recognition," said Essex Vicinage Assignment Judge Patricia K.Costello.
The Law Day program was developed and implemented by the Essex Law Day Committee composed of judges and staff as well as representatives from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the Essex County Bar Association.
Nearly 3,500 school students in Essex County participated in the 2006 Mock Trial Program. On May 1, hundreds of judges, attorneys, court staff and sheriff's officers visited local schools to lead students through a case and discuss the Law Day theme. This year's theme was Liberty Under Law: Separate Branches, Balanced Powers.
In addition to the Mock Trial Program, the vicinage also held its annual art and essay contests. More than 100 local students submitted creative drawings and writings inspired by the Law Day theme. The award-winning entries were reproduced in a booklet that has been widely distributed. Law Day culminated in a luncheon and awards program for contest winners and participants in the school program. Over the nine years that the vicinage has presented the programs, an estimated 45,000 students and many teachers have learned about the judicial system in a positive way.
The national theme for next year's Law Day is "Liberty under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy." The event will again be held on May 1.