In 1958, the American Bar Association (ABA) and President Dwight D. Eisenhower designated May 1 as National Law Day in order to help raise public understanding of the importance of the law in our society. To honor this tradition, KCMBA’s Young Lawyers’ Section (YLS) celebrates Law Week in mid-April each year by organizing public service projects designed to help the public resolve their legal issues and develop a clearer understanding of the U.S. judicial system. KCMBA’s Law Week features the following events:
Each year during Law Week, YLS partners with a local TV station to hold the Ask-A-Lawyer telethon. During the telethon, members of the public may call the Ask-A-Layer hotline to ask questions pertaining to legal issues they are experiencing. The calls are answered by volunteer attorneys from YLS who provide free legal advice in several areas of the law, incuding domestic relations, employment, personal injury, and landlord/tenant disputes. In 2014, Ask-A-Lawyer volunteers received and responded to nearly 1,000 calls from the public.
As part of the Law Week activities, YLS and KCMBA sponsor a yearly naturalization ceremony along with the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. At the 2014 ceremony, 60 people originating in over 25 different countries became citizens of the United States. The ceremony is followed by a reception for the newly naturalized citizens and their families.
GOLD E. LOCKS MOCK TRIAL
One of KCMBA’s oldest events, the Gold E. Locks mock trial aims to teach over 200 local students about our judicial system by bringing the classic story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears to the courtroom. Students from local elementary schools serve as the jury in the trial and decide Goldilocks’ fate after hearing witness testimony from Goldilocks and the Bears. The 2014 trial was held in the courtroom at UMKC School of Law and was presided over by the Honorable Mary Weir.