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Public invited to Williams Law Day on May 7

Williams High School students participate in a mock trial at last year’s Law Day event. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Williams High School students participate in a mock trial at last year’s Law Day event. Ryan Williams/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Williams' third annual Law Day takes place tomorrow at the Williams Justice and Municipal Court, 700 W. Railroad Ave. Law Day is open to the public and gives community members a chance to see law enforcement and the legal system up close.

The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature mock trials prepared by local high school students. Vendors, including law enforcement and nonprofit groups, will also be on hand. The Department of Public Safety's helicopter will be available for the public to see and free food and beverages will be served.

Williams Magistrate Rob Krombeen said he hopes attendees and participating students will enjoy a hands on civics lesson about the courts. The day will give people a real world experience with the court system for those wanting to have a career in that area.

"Public participation is [also] key to enhance the court's relationship with the community as well as increase the public's awareness and understanding of the courts," Krombeen said.

He said many departments work within the justice system but are never seen by the public. Law Day will give the public a chance to see how those interactions between departments work.

Former President Dwight Eisenhower established May 1 as Law Day in 1958 as "a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law." The theme for this year's event is "No courts, No justice, No freedom."

Courts across the nation celebrate Law Day, with Williams' officials setting the date each May depending on the school schedule and when they can get the most participation. Deputy Court Administrator Sharon Yates and Williams Mayor John Moore will be on hand to proclaim the day as Law Day.

The main event at Williams' Law Day is the mock trials. The Williams High School history teacher is preparing each of her classes to participate in a trial. Four attorneys from Flagstaff are donating their time on a rotating schedule to help the students plan their cases.

"The public can see what our high school students are doing in the courtroom and also get a taste and a dose of a courtroom experience administered by our local students," Krombeen said. "One of the additional things we're going to do this year is we worked with the art teacher to have a courtroom sketch artist (student) who will be sketching out each mock trial. Those sketches will be judged at the end of the day by an independent panel of judges."

Krombeen added that middle school students and community members are encouraged to attend.

The other portion of Law Day, the law enforcement and nonprofit group involvement, is expanding this year. Participating vendors include the Department of Public Safety, the Williams Police Department, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Victim Witness Services, Citizens Against Substance Abuse and legal aid groups, among others.

Krombeen also said Jason Ellico will be on hand so parents can bring kids to get a fingerprint card for their kids as part of a safe-child campaign. The parents will take the cards home with them.

More information about Law Day is available from the court at (928) 679-7698.

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