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International Be Kind to Lawyers Day, falling on April 12 this year, is all about showing the lawyers in our lives the love and respect they deserve. A 2018 poll by Gallup found that lawyers received pretty average ratings for their honesty and ethical standards (51%). Yes, lawyers find themselves in the middle of many sticky situations but that’s part of their job! Let’s take a moment today to recognize the great work they do to help us out of the messes we get ourselves into.
History of International Be Kind to Lawyers Day
Steve Hughes, a public speaking coach, created International Be Kind to Lawyers Day in 2008. Hughes worked with many lawyers to enhance their presentation and public-speaking skills and found that the general public often had negative thoughts about this profession whenever he explained he worked with so many.
Hughes believed lawyers deserve our love, admiration, and respect at least one day out of 365. He chose the second Tuesday in April because it fell nicely between two other holidays that have somewhat negative connotations — April Fool’s Day (April 1) and U.S. Tax Day (April 15). Maybe he was attempting to make lawyers look good comparatively!
Since this is an international holiday, the world has joined in on the commitment to setting aside one day per year where we refrain from lawyer jokes and attempt a range of niceties. In all seriousness, most of us have friends or family members who are lawyers. If you don’t, you may be in the group who has been represented by a lawyer. And we’re sure they have represented you well. Lawyers have always had our backs and done what they can to get us out of hot water. So it’s not all that difficult to join in on the idea that they should be celebrated today.
International Be Kind to Lawyers Day timeline
The first references to law can be traced to ancient Egypt’s concepts of Maat, which included ideals of truth, balance, order, law, and justice.
At a time when only white men over the age of 21 could be lawyers, Arabella Mansfield is admitted to the Iowa bar.
The American Bar Association is established to support and advocate for the legal profession through the accreditation of law schools, defining ethical standards for lawyers, and advancing the rule of law.
It is during the double murder trial of former NFL star O.J. Simpson where famous lawyer Johnnie Cochran explains, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
International Be Kind to Lawyers Day FAQs
What does it take to become a lawyer?
The common requirements to become a lawyer are to earn a juris doctor degree, pass a bar exam within the jurisdiction where the law will be practiced, and successfully complete an ethics- and character assessment.
How many presidents were previously lawyers?
Out of the 45 American Presidents, 26 were lawyers before holding our nation’s highest office.
Where are most of the US lawyers?
South Dakota, the state thought to be the fairest and reasonable in the practice of law, has just over 22 lawyers per 10,000 citizens. By contrast, Washington D.C. has 788 lawyers per 10,000 citizens.
Ways to Celebrate International Be Kind to Lawyers Day
Watch a movie about lawyers
Watch your favorite movie featuring a lawyer as the main character. There are certainly plenty to choose from! The most famous lawyer movie is “To Kill a Mockingbird” but some other good choices are “The Firm,” “A Few Good Men,” and “Legally Blonde.”
Show the love
Don’t forget to simply say “Thank you” to the lawyers who have helped you in the past. Whether they represented you in a legal proceeding, helped you sort out personal legal matters, or currently work alongside you in a corporate setting, today’s the day to show them love.
Send referrals their way
Depending on the types of law the lawyers in your life practice, referring your friends to them is the greatest compliment you can give and would definitely be appreciated. Writing a glowing review on their social sites could also be a fantastic boost to their business.
5 Fun Facts About Legal Pads
Legal pads began at a paper mill
Legal pads were first sold in 1888 when a paper mill worker began collecting scraps of paper and turned them into pads cut to legal size.
Yellow was an intentional choice
The color yellow was originally chosen because the dye was less expensive than bleaching the paper white but it also allowed the lawyers to differentiate their notes from all other legal, white documents.
Lawyers were the first to use the original size
Lawyers were the primary users of the legal pad size — 8 ½ x 14 — today, many others use this size.
There are so many options
In today’s world of variety, legal pads come in various colors and are perforated or hole-punched — the traditional yellow-colored pad is also available in other sizes.
Judges made the margins bigger
Judges requested a notepad that had larger margins for better note-taking, hence the larger left-side margins you see on legal pads today.
WHY WE LOVE BE KIND TO LAWYERS DAY
They do pro bono work
Every year, lawyers sacrifice thousands of hours to pro bono work. Pro bono means without compensation — yes, for free!
It’s good to have a lawyer as a friend
Having a lawyer in your court before you go to court is a good thing! Having someone you already know and trust can lessen the stress of legal situations, so take the time today to show your appreciation for your lawyer friend and keep that relationship strong.
They help society
More common than not, people seek to practice law in order to help others. Their driving motivation is justice and they have the ability to communicate and solve complex problems in order to bring it about.
International Be Kind to Lawyers Day dates