The Smith County Bar Association and the Smith County Bar Foundation will celebrate the achievements of local attorneys, students, and a few who are not lawyers at the annual Law Day luncheon on Friday at the Tyler Rose Garden Center.
Americans celebrate Law Day nationally each year. In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower established May 1 as “a day of national dedication to honor to the principle of government under law.”
The Smith County Bar Foundation has established a new Law Day Endowment, where funds will go toward funding community projects such as the courthouse model currently on display at the Discovery Science Place Children's museum. Contributions to the fund will be made in honor of current and past recipients of the awards.
Cristy Keul, executive director of the Smith County Bar Foundation said the 2012 national Law Day theme, “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom,” provides an outstanding opportunity for the nation to reflect on the role the U.S. courts and judiciary have played throughout the country's history. “It also provides an opportunity to educate citizens of all ages about the workings of our court system, and how our courts guard our rights,” Ms. Keul said.
Greg Kimmel said moving to Tyler was one of the best choices he had ever made in his career, and he thanked the Smith County Young Lawyer's Association for the honor. “I am very thankful for this community, and my family, my firm and my friends of the Bar,” he said.
“We must give them the tools they need to reach their potential and become productive members of our society. We must remember that education is the foundation of a nation and our youth are our most valuable resource. The Liberty Bell Award is an affirmation of my beliefs and hope for our students,” Ms. Ashby said.
Justinian Award: Attorney Tom Henson for lifetime achievement.
Award of Excellence: Attorney Jim Huggler for significant community contribution.
Smith County Young Lawyer of the Year: Greg Kimmel.
Liberty Bell Award: Donna Ashby for outstanding non-lawyer in Smith County.
The Bar Association also sponsors an essay contest for high school students and a poster contest for students in kindergarten through 5th grade. The essay contest award winners are:
first place: Madison Behm (who also placed third in the State Bar of Texas Law Day Contest)
second place: Brandon Lackner
third place: Max S. McKinley
The poster contest winners were (K-2):
In grades (3-5):