Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : April 2007

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MSBA Promotes Separation of Powers for Law Day 2007

Working to promote the importance of the separation of powers between the three branches of government among Maryland’s students and teachers alike, the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) will recognize Law Day 2007 with a “Separation of Powers” program on May 15 at the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center in Baltimore.

Guided by the initiatives set forth by MSBA President Edward J. Gilliss, the program seeks to further educate the state’s students and teachers about the importance of the separation of powers while bolstering respect for the three branches of government through creative and stimulating discussions about each.

“There is an effort in this state and across the nation to teach students the importance of three co-equal branches of government and an independent judiciary,” proclaims Gilliss, who stresses particular concern for popular understanding and respect of the judicial branch. “Our mission is to re-instill knowledge about our government in our youth to help address the attacks on the judiciary. In light of recent challenges – real or perceived – to the co-equal status of the judicial branch, it is important to act now.”

Gilliss will open the day’s program with a greeting, followed by the keynote address by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, Court of Appeals of Maryland. Students and teachers will then be able to attend educational sessions of their choosing throughout the day, closing with an afternoon interactive session led by Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn, Maryland District Court.

MSBA’s Law Day program will coincide with that of the American Bar Association (ABA), whose own program will focus on “Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy.” MSBA’s Law Day program is sponsored by the MSBA Public Awareness Committee, with CLREP administering the festivities.

The ABA recognizes each May 1 as Law Day, with various state, local and specialty bar associations each holding their own celebrations. To avoid overlap, MSBA has chosen to hold this year’s celebration later in the month. Other Law Day programs around the state include the Harford County Bar Association, which is working in conjunction with the JAG Office at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The Prince George’s County Bar Association will hold a luncheon honoring the competitors in the Seventh Circuit Mock Trial Competition, including an address by the Honorable Toni E. Clark and a Naturalization Ceremony administered by the Honorable C. Philip Nichols, Jr. Also in Prince George’s County, the State’s Attorney General will sponsor Law Day programs directed at students, covering topics such as student safety, careers and law school admission. The Wicomico County Bar Association will also host a program exploring careers in the legal profession. These special days are meant to give the youth a perspective on the legal profession that they would not see otherwise.

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: April 2007