Annual Law Day

What is the Law Day?

In the tradition of Law Day, each year the Washington Bar Association and the Washington Bar Association Educational Foundation hosts the Annual Law Day Dinner on the first Saturday of May. The Law Day Dinner is a formal event, giving our members an opportunity to dress-up and step-out for a night on the town with colleagues, friends and legal luminaries. The Bar traditionally hosts approximately 500 guests at the Annual Law Day Dinner. As well, the Bar confers the prestigious Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit on its esteemed honorees, and presents a stimulating lecture by an accomplished speaker. The Bar presents the Charles Hamilton Houston and Eugene Hamilton scholarship to the winners of the competitions respectively. The spectacular events of the evening conclude with the legendary Dessert Reception which includes an array of fabulous sweet treats, coffees, teas, wines and an opportunity to dance the night away.

Why do we celebrate Law Day?

The WBA treats Law Day as an opportunity to celebrate the conclusion of the bar year which closes on June 30th. Law Day is an opportunity to reflect with the membership on the events of the past bar year, celebrate the History and Mission of our great organization, and recognize those who have contributed so much to the Bar and the community at-large. In addition, we celebrate the lives of those bar members and legal trailblazers whom we have lost during the bar year, reflecting on their contributions and accomplishments throughout their lifetimes.

The Law Day Dinner and the presentation of the Houston Medallion is the ideal circumstance to recognize the current leaders of the legal community who embody and hold-fast to the Houstonian Principle of Jurisprudence, upon which the WBA was founded.

The History of Law Day

Each year on May 1st, Law Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the legal heritage of the United States, on the role of law in the World, and on the rights and duties which are the foundation of peace and prosperity for all mankind.

Law Day was established in the late 1950s by the American Bar Association. May 1 was designated as Law Day to draw attention to both the principles and practice of law and justice. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day by proclamation in 1958. The following is an abbreviated chronology of events related to the establishment of Law Day.

  • 1957 - American Bar Association president Charles S. Rhyne, a Washington, D.C., attorney, envisions a special day for celebrating our legal system
  • 1958 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower establishes Law Day U.S.A. to strengthen our great heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under law.
  • 1961 - May 1 is designated by joint resolution of Congress as the official date for celebrating Law Day U.S.A
  • Every Year - May 1 remains the official date, but throughout the first week of May, national organizations, state and local bar associations, businesses, and schools, conduct thousands of programs on the rule of law in a constitutional democracy on an annual basis.