Oklahoma Bar Journal
Law Day 2022 | Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change
By Ed Wunch
Mike Mayberry and Karen Berry discuss alternative dispute resolution during a recent video shoot. This year’s Law Day video content will be shared on social media and is aimed at educating the public about various legal topics.
Students from around the state participated in this year’s Law Day Contest and grappled with some of those historical changes to the Constitution, examining many of the amendments and using the advancement of society as inspiration for their artwork. Based on reviewing those entries from amazing students across Oklahoma, the future is bright.
Keeping with this year’s theme of change, the OBA Law Day Committee is adapting our programming this year. Rather than focusing our efforts on a one-hour program on public television, we are producing content that will be educational and will have a longer lifespan on the OBA’s YouTube page. This content will cover some of the common areas of law that we hear about from callers for Ask a Lawyer (family law, housing and estate planning) as well as covering basic information about ADR. We also will have more information about the history of Law Day. This content will roll out gradually throughout April.
When I was initially chosen as chair for the Law Day Committee in 2020, my goal was to expand our programming and reach. The pandemic had different ideas, but we have not faltered. Everyone benefits every day from living in an orderly and just society under the rule of law. Our society is by no means perfect, but we have the tools to work toward a more perfect union. That is worthy of celebration not just on Law Day but every day.
I am incredibly grateful for the support of Chief Justice Darby, President Hicks, the OBA Communications Department, Law Day Committee members and the many, many members of the bar who support Law Day’s mission. The roots of Law Day in Oklahoma stretch back to 1951, and Wewoka attorney Hicks Epton’s initiative “Know Your Liberties – Know Your Courts.” Your support keeps our Law Day traditions alive and well.
CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
The OBA received entries from 1,331 students from across the state focused on this year’s theme, “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.” We received more entries this year than in 2021, with an impressive number of entries from counties outside the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas. This is also a testament to the amazing teachers we have around the state who have done a wonderful job supporting Oklahoma’s children during these unusual times.
While a celebration at the Capitol recognizing student winners was not possible this year, many of the winners will receive their awards and be recognized by their local county bar associations and judges. See the names of all the winners and their winning entries online at www.okbar.org/lawday.
FREE LEGAL ADVICE
For the 46th year, we are organizing the Ask A Lawyer community service project, providing free answers to Oklahomans’ legal questions. This year’s project will be Thursday, April 28. Oklahomans will have the option to email email@example.com with their question or call the hotline to speak with an attorney.
Participating in Ask A Lawyer is a great way for all Oklahoma lawyers to celebrate Law Day. This annual event gives us the opportunity to provide a much-needed community service while promoting a positive public image
of lawyers and the OBA.
Oklahoma and Tulsa County lawyers will work together to staff the statewide toll-free hotline from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For other counties, the Law Day Committee works with each county’s Law Day chairperson to establish a network of local county phone numbers in addition to the statewide number.
Anywhere you live or work, your help is needed to make this community service project a success. It takes a total of 14 attorneys for each two-hour shift to fully staff the statewide number. That effort, combined with the local county bars and those answering email questions, creates a huge need for lawyers to step forward. To volunteer, contact your local county Law Day chairperson, listed online at www.okbar.org/lawday.
We urge you to participate by volunteering for the Ask A Lawyer free legal advice project or by contacting your local county bar and participating in the many activities occurring throughout the state. To stay up to date on Law Day activities and events happening around Oklahoma, I encourage you to visit www.okbar.org/lawday, where we will post updates throughout the month.
I am privileged to serve as the 2022 OBA Law Day Committee chairperson, and I am encouraged by the support of OBA members across the state. If you have ideas for how to improve Law Day, I want to hear from you, and you would be welcome on the committee. We are always seeking interested lawyers to get involved in the Law Day Committee and will very soon be planning next year’s activities. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ed Wunch is a Staff Attorney with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Inc. He serves as the OBA’s 2022 Law Day Committee chair and is a 2013 graduate of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
HISTORY OF LAW DAY
In 1951, the late Hicks Epton launched one of the most important public relations programs ever undertaken by the OBA: Know Your Liberties – Know Your Courts Week. This was one of the last weeks of April dedicated to educating the public about the legal system and celebrating the liberties we have as Americans. Learn more about the history of Law Day at https://bit.ly/OKLawDayHistory.
EVENTS ACROSS THE STATE
Several county bar associations across Oklahoma are planning events in recognition and celebration of Law Day 2022. Stay up-to date on what events your local county bar association is hosting at https://bit.ly/OKLawDayEvents.
LOCAL LAW DAY CHAIRS
Find links to information and ideas to make your county’s celebration a success. If you are not a chairperson and would like more information on your county Law Day activities or want to volunteer for Ask A Lawyer, please contact your local county Law Day chair. You can find their contact information at https://bit.ly/OKLawDayChairs.
Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 4 (April 2022)