Law Week Activities Widespread
by Frank C Kraemer
Opening doors to educate people about the justice system
Law Week activities will take place throughout B.C. April 12 to 17. Communities such as Duncan, Nanaimo and Prince George will celebrate the anniversary of the Charter with open houses and youth activities. Members of the bar, their families and staff are invited to join in the festivities.
Duncan will have an open house at its courthouse. There will be: an open courtroom with a sheriff and a judge “Ask a Judge”; representatives from Women Against Violence Against Women; RCMP (dog squad and Safety Bear); a law-related children’s game; and seminars in the courtrooms led by local lawyers.
At press time, plans were underway for open houses at the courthouses in Nanaimo and Kelowna.
In Prince George, an open house at the courthouse is also planned, along with a mock trial. The RCMP, Native Counselling Services, and others have been invited to set up displays. Lawyers will give tours.
The Vancouver open house will be held at the Vancouver Law Courts on Saturday, April 17. The schedule is shown below.
Students in Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland will have the opportunity to explore law as a career option through the student mentor program. The program matches students with lawyers for a half-day in the lawyer’s workplace. It has been successful for many years, due to strong support from CBA members.
High school students are given the opportunity to compete in the public speaking, photo and short story contests. The top three winners in each category receive cash prizes. The public speaking contest, in which students compete for the Barry Sullivan Law Cup, will take place at the Vancouver open house on April 17. Interested parties are welcome to attend and listen to the speeches.
CBABC will hold its province-wide “Dial-A-Lawyer” day on April 17 between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. During that time, members of the public from around the province are invited to call the Dial-A-Lawyer numbers to speak with a lawyer about a legal problem for up to 15 minutes. The Dial-A-Lawyer numbers are 604-687-3221 in the Lower Mainland, and 1-800-663-1919. This has been a very popular program that many believe contributes to a better image of lawyers.
5k Fun Run/Walk
As part of Law Week a Fun Run/Walk was held at UBC on April 4. Many members registered to participate and approximately 25 per cent of participants were under the age of 14. We hope to develop this family event as a part of Law Week in coming years.
Open House Schedule, Vancouver Law Courts, Saturday April 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
10:00-11:00 - Public Speaking Competition - 20 B.C. high school students
11:00-11:30 - Citizenship Ceremony registration
11:30-12:00 - Keynote Speakers
12:05-1:05 - Citizenship Ceremony
12:00-1:30 - Public Speaking Finals & Awards
1:00-2:00 - Mock Trials - Osler Elementary Grade 7 Class
- VPD Dog Squad
- London Drugs ID kit
- Law Courts Education Society
- B.C. Institute Against Family Violence
- and many more!
This article was published in the April 2004 issue of BarTalk. © 2004 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.