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Connecticut Judges
Commemorate Law Day 2007
“Liberty Under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy”

Twenty-two Connecticut judges recently commemorated Law Day by speaking at high schools and elementary schools across the state. Law Day, which was created in 1957 by American Bar Association President Charles S. Rhyne, was established to strengthen our great heritage of liberty, justice and equality. It also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of the courts in our democratic system of government.

On May 1st, 1961, a joint resolution of Congress officially designated May 1 as Law Day.
 

 

This year’s Law Day theme was “Liberty Under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy.” Many judges choose to focus their remarks on the importance of public service, learning more about the respective branches of government, and sharing their experiences on the bench with the students. According to Appellate Court Judge Alexandra D. DiPentima, who visited New Milford High School, “The students and teachers were mostly interested in the daily life of a judge, how one becomes a judge, the decision making process and the specific cases that I found particularly difficult or unusual.”

In her visit with the students of St. Martin de Porre Academy, a parochial school in greater New Haven, Judge Maureen Keegan had the students create a “trial” of Goldilocks. The young students played the roles of attorneys, witnesses, and jurors. Judge Keegan noted that, “This is something I did for my kids’ classes back in elementary school and (it) works as a teaching tool.”

Law Day was a particularly busy period for Judge Barbara Bellis who spoke to students at Norwalk High School, Wilton High School, All Saints High School in Norwalk, Springdale School and Rogers Magnet School in Stamford, and Driscoll Elementary School in Wilton. She noted that, “It was very rewarding to be part of the celebration.”

Judge Edward Domnarski spoke to students at his alma mater, Ledyard High School. He added a historical perspective to his remarks. “I tied in the Cold War origins of Law Day with events that were taking place when I attended Ledyard High School, in the 1960’s,” said Domnarski. “I also used the empowering youth theme to stress the importance of being aware of how the judicial system and other branches of government function.”

Thanks to the efforts of our judges, more than 2,200 students had the rare opportunity to meet and learn from them this past Law Day. A debt of gratitude is owed to all who participated.

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