2017 Rhode Island Law Day Classroom Program & Essay Contest

On Rhode Island Law Day, thousands of Rhode Island students, teachers, judges and lawyers share important, timely and lively law related education lessons. This year’s Rhode Island Law Day is Friday, April 28, 2017.  Rhode Island Law Day classroom program lessons are open to all public, independent, private, and parochial Rhode Island middle and upper schools’ 7th to 12th grade classes, and feature in-school, classroom period participation of a Rhode Island judge and lawyer team. To promote active student participation and the best possible educational experience, the Rhode Island Law Day classroom program topic choice focuses on an issue of direct relevance to students.

The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy

The 2017 Law Day theme — The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy — provides the opportunity to explore the many ways that the Fourteenth Amendment has reshaped American law and society. Through its Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, this transformative amendment advanced the rights of all Americans. It also played a pivotal role in extending the reach of the Bill of Rights to the states. Ratified during Reconstruction a century and a half ago, the Fourteenth Amendment serves as the cornerstone of landmark civil rights legislation, the foundation for numerous federal court decisions protecting fundamental rights, and a source of inspiration for all those who advocate for equal justice under law.

Online Background and Activity Information
Available classroom program material including recommended discussion points and role playing suggestions, as well as additional topic background information are available online by clicking here.

2017 Hon. Francis J. Darigan, Jr. Rhode Island Law Day Essay Contest
The Rhode Island Judiciary, the Rhode Island Bar Association, and the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association are pleased to announce the fourteenth annual 2017 Hon. Francis J. Darigan Jr. Rhode Island Law Day Essay Contest.  The Contest is open to all Rhode Island 10th and 11th grade students attending school in Rhode Island, but only to those grades.  Through the generosity of the Rhode Island Bar Association and the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association, the winning essay author will receive a $1000 Scholastic Award and an engraved trophy cup.  The winner’s school receives a permanent plaque and the annual Law Day Essay Award Trophy to display until the next Contest. 
This year, a second place essay author will also be recognized with a $250 Scholastic Award donated by the Edward P. Gallogly Family Law Inns of Court. We encourage all 10th and 11th grade Rhode Island students to participate.  Students are also encouraged to draw on additional resources, but all outside information must be properly credited.  A completed Student Entry Form, signed by the sponsoring teacher, must accompany each essay entry.  Essays must not exceed 1000 words.  The essays are reviewed and the winner is selected by members of the faculty at Roger Williams University School of Law.  All entries must be received at the Rhode Island Bar Association no later than May 5th, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

Kathleen M. Bridge
Director of Communications
Rhode Island Bar Association
Telephone: 401-421-5740 x. 4838
Fax: 401-421-2703
Email: kbridge@ribar.com