International Be Kind To Lawyers Day
the second Tuesday in April (since 2008)
Steve Hughes in 2008
Lawyers are often derided, jokes are made about them, and they are ranked low on lists of the most respected professions. But, when people need legal help, it is lawyers that they turn to. International Be Kind To Lawyers Day was created by Steve Hughes, a public speaker who had worked with lawyers on presentation skills, and found them to be affable. When Steve had mentioned to others that he worked with lawyers, they often would have negative reactions and make sarcastic comments, leaving it up to Steve to defend the lawyers. He thought about how there is a National Ice Cream Day and a Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, and figured lawyers were just as good as those things, if not better, and that they should have their own day. He decided to create a day to show lawyers that they are cared for, even if it is only one day of the year. He chose the second Tuesday of April because it occurs between April Fools' Day and Tax Day. He created it in 2008, but it is believed that it was not originally an "international" day. It seems this was added later, possibly in 2017, as interest in the day spread around the world.
It is believed that lawyers have been around since the time of Ancient Greece. Today there are over a million licensed lawyers in the United States. They are legal professionals that work as advocates, attorneys, barristers, and solicitors, and apply the law to solve problems, often representing plaintiffs and defendants in court. They may specialize in disciplines such as criminal law, civil law, estate law, real estate law, business law, and family law. Long and stressful work days are the norm, often going late into the evening and into the weekends. Lawyers also donate many hours of their time each year to work on pro bono cases—cases done for the public good without compensation.
To become a lawyer in the United States, it takes a bachelor's degree, followed by three years of law school, and then the passage of the bar exam. In order to practice law in a state, a lawyer must obtain a license there. Lawyers must also keep up on current laws, as they always are changing. The pay for lawyers is between $100,000 and $200,000 a year, and it varies greatly by what type of law is being practiced, how many years the lawyer has been in practice, and if they do private practice, corporate, or government work.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by thanking a lawyer for all their work. Perhaps you could send them a card or a gift. You should not tell any lawyer jokes today, or make any disparaging comments about lawyers. If you accidentally say something bad about a lawyer, say "strike that from the record" after your remark. To get a taste of what lawyers do, try to do something related to their field, such as drafting your own will or writing up an articles of organization for an LLC. Make sure to do all of your work on a yellow legal pad. The day could also be spent watching films such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Verdict, A Few Good Men, and ...And Justice For All.