Beginning in April the East Boston District Court will kick off a month long program with local schools from Eastie and Winthrop that will culminate in the annual Mock Trial and Law Day celebration on May 1.
All grades from grades K1 to 12th grade from schools in East Boston and Winthrop will be involved in some way with the annual Law Day celebration, said Chief Probation Officer Thomas Tassinari.
On April 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. students will take part in an oratory presentation followed by an essay and poster contest on April 8 for grades 6 through 8.
Each year Law Day has a theme and this year the theme is Realizing the Dream , said Tassinari. So we will send the theme and words that relate to the theme and the students have to put together posters and essays around that theme.
On April 25 at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. at the court house the high school level Mock Trial teams will compete.
Prior to the mock trial each team is given a case and are assigned coaches who are volunteer attorneys, said Tassinari. The students have to study case law, learn how to defend or prosecute a case and learn the procedures of the courtroom during a trial.
For the past few weeks Judge Robert Ronquillo has been traveling to High Schools and Elementary Schools to encourage students to take part.
So far the response has been great, said Ronquillo. We are getting a lot of help from students that participated last year. They have been telling their classmates what a great experience it is.
The court in Eastie has been celebrating Law Day since 1976 with special events for local students. In the U.S. Law Day was established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a response to the international celebration of May Day- a day to remember the struggles of workers who were killed or oppressed in their fight for better wages and working conditions.
Because May Day was perceived as a communist celebration during the height of the Cold War, Eisenhower established Law Day as a way to dissuade citizens from being inspired by the populist tones of May Day.