Law Day 2018

Judges from Santa Cruz County Superior Court are partnering with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and Cabrillo College to offer 250 high school students a unique learning experience to deepen their understanding of the law. Students will partake in a full day of learning about the Balance of Powers.

About Law Day

In 1958, President Eisenhower proclaimed Law Day to honor the role of law in the creation of the United States of America. Three years later, Congress followed suit by passing a joint resolution establishing May 1 as Law Day.

The United State Code 36 U.S.C. § 113 reads in part:

Law Day, U.S.A., is a special day of celebration by the people of the United States—

(1) in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and

(2) for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life



To create learning opportunities for students to learn about the Balance of Powers.


Target Population:

11th and 12th Grade students enrolled in U.S. History/Government/Economics classes from Santa Cruz County high schools and their teachers.


Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom

The U.S. Constitution sets out a system of government with distinct and independent branches—Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court. It also defines legislative, executive, and judicial powers and outlines how they interact. These three separate branches share power, and each branch serves as a check on the power of the others. “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” James Madison explained in Federalist 51. Why? Madison believed that the Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances preserve political liberty. They provide a framework for freedom. Yet, this framework is not self-executing. We the people must continually act to ensure that our constitutional democracy endures, preserving our liberties and advancing our rights. The Law Day 2018 theme enables us to reflect on the separation of powers as fundamental to our constitutional purpose and to consider how our governmental system is working for ourselves and our posterity.



District Superintendents will be provided information at Superintendents Council when they meet with the County Superintendent. High school principals and social studies teachers will be notified via email and encouraged to sign-up using the online page (see below). High schools will receive copies of the promotional flyers and art competition posters. School districts will be responsible for securing field trip permission forms and transportation for the event.



The event is scheduled to take place at Samper Hall in Cabrillo College and surrounding classrooms.


Draft Agenda

April 27, 2018 Cabrillo College                                

Theme: “Separation of Powers”

8:00 to 9:30 am Arrival and Check in Samper Hall
9:30 to 9:45 am Welcome

Master of Ceremonies: Judge Denine Guy

Samper Hall
9:45 to 10:15 am Keynote Speaker:

Separation of Power & Federal Checks and Balances

Samper Hall
10:15 to 10:20 am Transition to Session 1
10:20 to 11:05 am Session 1: Legislative See Name
11:05 to 11:10 am Transition to Session 2
11:10 to 11:55 pm Session 2: Executive See Name
11:55 to 12:00 pm Transition to Session 3
12:00  to 12:45 pm Session 3: Judicial See Name
12:45 to 12:50 pm Transition to Closing Remarks
12:50 to 1:10 pm Raffle / Closing Remarks Samper Hall
1:10 to 2:00 pm Lunch with Guests / Closure Outside
2:00 pm Transition to Buses


To Register

Registration will be limited to 250 students for this event. We are committed to having representation from across Santa Cruz County. Teachers who wish to register for Law Day – can do so at the following web address:


Sponsoring Opportunities

*SCCOE and Cabrillo College hope to raise the following funding to support the event:

  • $500 to pay for water and snacks for students
  • $1000 for 6 prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of both the Essay Contest/Art Contest.
  • $3000 to pay for lunch for 250 students and 50 adults
  • $500 scholarship for a student planning on pursuing a career in law. Students will receive their scholarship once they have evidence they are enrolled at an accredited college or university.


*Santa Cruz County Judges are participating in and supportive of the 2018 Law Day event, however, they are not involved in the solicitation of any kind.


For more information:

For information about the event call (831) 466-5870


To learn more about the theme:

Law Day 2018