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Providing the public a clear view

By Janet Green

Janet Green
Green

As a public member of the State Bar Board of Governors, I feel a special commitment this month to help publicize two very important public education events in our legal community.

One is the revision and release of the new Kids and the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents, perhaps the most popular public education guide produced by the State Bar, as attested to by the thousands of pre-orders we have received since the announcement a few months ago.

The second is the State Bar joining with Chief Justice Ronald George, the Supreme Court justices, the Administrative Office of the Courts and many other groups around the state to mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Brown brought about a sea change in our nation, from laws to ways of thinking to ensuring equal access, and this celebration will run from the May 17th anniversary date through the end of the year.

With the new Kids and the Law, beginning on Law Day (May 1) we will distribute 1.2 million of these informative guides in three languages: English, Spanish and Chinese. Your own personal copy is included in this newspaper.

Last published in May 2001, Kids covers many areas of the law for youngsters, from driving cars and scooters to fighting or using drugs, and provides parents with an excellent resource guide to brush up on the laws governing their children. This is also an educational tool to help their children learn about appropriate behavior in different circumstances. If you would like to order copies of Kids and the Law, send your order with all the pertinent information (i.e., number of copies, language, complete street mailing address) to kids@calbar.ca.gov.

This is the first year we have been able to print Kids and the Law in additional languages. This is in thanks, partly, to a generous grant from the Foundation of the State Bar of California, which has as one of its primary missions helping the public learn about the laws and how they affect their everyday living. I am proud to also be a member of the Foundation board and to help support this important project, as well as the bar’s two other public education initiatives: Seniors & the Law and When You Become 18.

While the Brown v. Board celebration will be ongoing, as part of our public education program we have produced a brief pamphlet that will help teachers enhance their classroom teaching on this subject. A copy of this pamphlet can be retrieved by clipping it from pages 17-18 of this newspaper.

This, of course, is only one of many tributes planned around the state to commemorate this important ruling. Courts in many California counties are observing the decision in many different ways, and a symposium is being planned by all the groups involved to be held in Sacramento on the anniversary of the decision, May 17.

This is truly an exciting time to capture the public’s attention and to generate interest among them in the legal profession and about our system of justice. I salute the lawyers of this state for supporting these activities and for ensuring in their everyday line of work that the laws of this state are upheld for all people.

Janet Green of Riverside is a public member of the State Bar Board of Governors and also a member of the board of directors of the Foundation of the State Bar of California.

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