For Immediate Release - May 01, 2014

Boston High School Students Participate in Law Day at John Adams Courthouse

BOSTON, MA -- A group of sixty high school students from West Roxbury Academy today participated in Law Day activities at the Supreme Judicial Court, where they had the opportunity to learn from and interact with justices, current and former law clerks, and attorneys. This year's Law Day theme is American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.  

Law Day 2014 at the John Adams Courthouse
Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert J. Cordy (center) met with students from West Roxbury Academy during May 1, 2014, Law Day activities at the John Adams Courthouse.

 

The day began with a theatrical performance by Theatre Espresso called "Justice at War" about a case that was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of detaining Japanese Americans in United States internment camps during World War II.

After the performance, Supreme Judicial Court Justices Robert J. Cordy and Fernande R.V. Duffly spoke to the students in the Seven Justice Courtroom. The justices told the students about what inspired them to pursue careers in the legal field and how they became judges. They also explained the structure of the court system, the difference between trial courts and appellate courts, and the role of the Supreme Judicial Court in the state judiciary.

Students then met in small groups with attorneys who are former law clerks of the Supreme Judicial Court, to discuss the role of courts and the rule of law in a democratic society. The former law clerks led students through a series of hands-on exercises that encouraged in-depth discussions on current legal topics designed to illustrate and emphasize the Law Day theme.

Law Day 2014 - Justice Duffly with students
Supreme Judicial Court Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly (center, back row) met with students from West Roxbury Academy during May 1, 2014, Law Day activities at the John Adams Courthouse.

The students also had the opportunity to be led on a tour of the historic John Adams Courthouse by one of the Court's senior attorneys, and view the courthouse's exhibit rooms, where they learned about John Adams and his role as the architect of the American system of government. They also viewed the Sacco and Vanzetti exhibit and learned how a miscarriage of justice occurred in that case and the changes to the system that resulted.

Law Day was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 as a day to recognize the principles of government under the law, and the nation’s rich heritage of liberty and justice. Celebrations commemorating Law Day take place every May in courthouses throughout Massachusetts and the United States.           
Law Day 2014 - SJC Law Clerks with Justice Duffly
Former law clerks of the Supreme Judicial Court met with students during Law Day and discussed the role of courts and the rule of law in a democratic society. In this photo, members of the SJC Law Clerks' Society with Supreme Judicial Court Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly (center).