On May 12, 2010, the MSBA Public Awareness Committee, in conjunction with the Citizenship Law-Related Education Program (CLREP), will host Law Day 2010, focusing on “The Bill of Rights in the 21st Century”. This full-day conference is expected to draw more than 120 students and advisors to the Sheppard Pratt Convention Center in Baltimore County to discuss how the Bill of Rights affects students’ lives in the past, present and future.
“The Law Day Conferences give us a great opportunity to reach both high school students and their teachers,” says Rick Miller, Executive Director of CLREP. “By having top-notch legal resource presenters providing multiple sessions on a given topic, we give both teachers and students an in-depth look at the topic that they never get during normal school sessions.”
The conference will start with a greeting by MSBA President Thomas Cardaro, followed by a keynote address delivered by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, Court of Appeals of Maryland. Immediately afterward, the students will attend two special-interest sessions, during which they will have their choice of presented topics, including students’ rights in school, search and seizure, the First Amendment Foundation and social media (FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.), among other topics.
“This year’s conference on ‘The Bill of Rights in the 21st Century’ is especially relevant as there is so much misinformation and misunderstanding about our Constitution and Bill of Rights,” notes Miller.
After lunch, the students will attend a plenary session, during which the presenters from the morning sessions will field any questions the students’ may have. The students will then view the video submissions from the 2010 MSBA Video Contest, based on the Bill of Rights. Last year, students voted on the People’s Choice Award for the “Law in Your Daily Life” Video Contest, and this year they will once again have that chance to participate.
“The students had an opportunity to vote for their favorite submission,” says Alice Chong, Chair of the Public Awareness Committee. “With the enthusiasm for the first video contest, the committee has continued the video contest this year on the Bill of Rights. We encourage everyone to submit their video.”
The Public Awareness Committee enhances the public’s understanding of the law through community education and outreach. It presents MSBA’s two most successful, ongoing public service projects: a series of 24 public information brochures, which are sent to the public free of charge, and the Speakers’ Bureau, which places volunteer attorneys in the community to educate the public about the law.
CLREP was established in 1975 to promote law-related education in public and private schools. Over the years, it has strived to develop programs that educate kids about the law through “real-world” experience. Major CLREP programs include Teen Court, the High School Mock Trial Competition, Law Links internships and training for teachers.