Law Day 2019: Celebrating Free Speech, Free Press, and Free Society
As staunch supporters of law and education, all of us at the Law School Admission Council are thrilled to wish you a happy . The day, which has been declared and observed by every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, who started the tradition in 1958, is a celebration of the rule of law and is led by the American Bar Association. It’s a great occasion to acknowledge the rule of law’s centrality to our democracy, the critical role lawyers play in our legal system, and the significance of quality legal education.
Free Speech, Free press, Free Society is the theme for this year’s Law Day. As the guardians of liberty, law and the press are in tandem, the very cornerstones of our representative government. Today, as well as in many times throughout our nation’s history, both institutions have been the target of significant threats by those who would resist liberty and justice. Our constitutional system of law and government helps us help ourselves by giving us rights to openly express our dissent, to organize peacefully, and to hold everyone accountable to the rule of law.
LSAC’s recognition of the importance of preserving these fundamental values inspired us to partner last December with the National Judicial College to organize and host a national symposium on the role of judges and journalists in our democracy. We convened more than a dozen of our most influential figures from law and media to assess threats to the press and our courts and their consequences.
Law Day 2019’s theme is an opportunity to continue that focus. We best celebrate law by educating ourselves about our legal system, including asking hard questions about its health. In addition to the challenges to our values of liberty, our nation continues to suffer from a wide justice gap under which too-few people have access to affordable legal services. We also continue to see other inequalities widen, including those based on wealth, race, and ethnicity.
At the same time, our legal system has and has demonstrated tremendous resiliency. In my view, law remains our best pathway to a just and humane world in which all may thrive. At the same time, we must be mindful, as one of our nation’s impressive judges once said, that “law is not found, but made.” In other words, law takes work. We cannot take it for granted. We must actively engage in advancing law toward the promise of equal justice.
I hope you will join with me and LSAC in rededicating our minds, hearts, and muscles to this work of law in the service of justice. There could be no better way to recognize and to celebrate Law Day 2019. We are honored to be part of the legal academy and the larger legal profession. Together we can ensure that our nation and its precious values — including those of equality and liberty — shall, indeed, “long endure.”