Philadelphia Bar Association: Volunteers Needed: Here’s How You Can Participate in 2023 Law Week

Philadelphia Bar AssociationThis year, the Philadelphia Bar Association will celebrate Law Week with various community programs as well as free legal advice for Philadelphia residents. The theme for this year, as identified by the American Bar Association, is “Cornerstones of Democracy: Civics, Civility, and Collaboration.” The theme will include topics such as rebuilding trust in our institutions, respect for one another, and our willingness to collaborate to address the challenges that face our nation.

According to a recent survey from the National Center for State Courts, confidence in federal courts dropped from 60% in 2021 to 57% in 2022. Confidence in state courts dropped from 64% in 2021 to 60% in 2022. Finally, confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court dropped from 63% in 2021 to 53% in 2022. These statistics show that Americans are losing faith in the court systems’ ability to deliver on justice for all. Therefore, it is imperative this year to demonstrate why the rule of law matters and the promotion of civil discourse and understanding of our legal and judicial processes.

Law Week’s programming will include an in-person Legal Advice Live in the Heim Center (which is named for 1991 Chancellor Robert C. Heim) on the first floor of the Parkway Central Library, a call-in LegalLine with specific topics for residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, Lawyer in the Classroom, and the Edward F. Chacker poster and essay contest.

“Law Week allows members of the Young Lawyers Division to present themselves as trusted resources and mentors to the Philadelphia community,” said Melissa Ruth, chair of the Young Lawyers Division. “This event allows our attorneys to engage with the young minds and educate them about the practice of law with a program like Lawyer in the Classroom. Residents of Philadelphia and surrounding counties have also significantly benefitted from our Legal Advice Live and LegalLine services because they have the opportunity to speak with our expert attorneys in person or over the phone and obtain free legal advice that they might not have had the chance to obtain otherwise.”

Programs are aimed at educating the community in the practice of the law. Volunteers are needed throughout the week for certain programs. Please reach out to Melissa Ruth (, Jordan Freeman ( or Ari Sliffman ( to sign up to volunteer for noted events.

“Law Week is the ideal opportunity to immerse ourselves within the community. It’s not only a rewarding experience for us, but also for many students and other members of the public,” Ruth said.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Lawyer in The Classroom (May 8)

  • Volunteers needed to visit classrooms of different Philadelphia schools to answer questions on the legal profession and address students' concerns about the law and legal issues that affect them as they enter adulthood. Times are TBA.

Legal Advice Live and LegalLine (May 3)

  • Volunteers needed to assist residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties by providing free legal assistance on specific subject matter areas including family law, housing and homeownership, employment and business counseling, and wills and estate. Area residents can call 215-238-6333 between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. to have their legal questions answered confidentially and for free, in addition to visiting the Parkway Central Library in person from 12-2 p.m.
  • In-person at the Parkway Central Library - 1901 Vine St., 1st Floor, Heim Center ? 12-2 p.m.
  • On-call for LegalLine
    12-2 p.m.
    2-4 p.m.
    4-6 p.m.

Edward F. Chacker Poster Contest & Essay Contest

  • Philadelphia students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade are invited to create a poster depicting the 2023 Law Week theme. Also, junior and seniors in high school enter an original essay on the Law Week theme and the winning essay wins a $1,000 college scholarship. Spread the word by sharing the information to your networks!

From: Philadelphia Bar News, Apr 12, 2023


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