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.
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.
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.