Skagit County Bar Association Celebrates Law Day by
Honoring Outstanding Community Contributors
Law Day, observed annually on May 1 for the last half-century, marks the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.
Law Day programs are held across the country to help people better understand how law protects liberty and how the legal system strives to achieve justice. This year’s theme honors “Advancing the Rule of Law Now.”
In Skagit County, Law Day was celebrated by holding a virtual Law Day Legal Clinic, where 22 volunteer attorneys and 12 non-attorney volunteers provided legal services to over 75 clients. In addition, the Skagit County Bar Association, Skagit Legal Aid, and the Liberty Bell Award Committee invited individuals involved in law and justice and members of our community to attend a Law Day Virtual Cocktail Hour and Liberty Bell Award Ceremony. The event took place on Tuesday, May 4..
The event was a great success and included a variety of highlights. The Skagit County Bar Association President, Andy Schuh commenced the event by introducing special guests. Following this introduction, Skagit County Superior Court Judge Riquelme announced the Law Day Proclamation.
Swinomish Tribal Court Chief, Judge Pouley and his daughter, Jessica, discussed the Land Acknowledgement, which is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
Lucy Shainin, a junior from Anacortes High School, presented a compelling poetry reading for the attendees. Shainin was recently recognized as the Washington state champion in the national poetry reciting competition, she was the top candidate of 6,000 students from 28 participating schools across the state of Washington.
Gail Smith announced the formation of the new non-profit, Skagit Legal Aid, formally providing services as the Volunteer Lawyer Program.
Skagit Legal Aid awarded this year’s Community Partner of the Year Award to the dedicated team at the CCS Farmworker Center, Marta Martinez Olivera and Guillermina Bazante.
The Skagit County Bar Association and Skagit Legal Aid also awarded the Skagit County Pro Bono Service Award (formerly known as the Volunteer of the Year Award) to Leona Bratz. Bratz is Of Counsel to LeGros Buchanan & Paul, joining the firm in November 2015. She volunteers as a pro bono attorney with the Housing Justice Project in Skagit County and Snohomish County, and she is also on the Board of Directors of the Anacortes Family Center, a homeless shelter. Most recently she was a dedicated volunteer at SLA’s Law Day Clinic.
The Skagit County Bar Association presented the 2021 Liberty Bell Award to Flora Perez-Lucatero. The Liberty Bell Award has been awarded every year since 1968, recognizing an individual who has rendered outstanding service to his or her community. Perez Lucatero is Flora Perez-Lucatero’s name will be added to the plaque on display in the Skagit County Superior Courthouse, recognizing the previous Liberty Bell Award Recipients.
The keynote speaker was Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court, Debra L. Stephens, who inspired all the attendees to continue to provide service to our community. “Good things happen because we do good things,” said, Justice Stephens.
"I think the event was one of the best in recent memory, despite the need to host it via Zoom due to the ongoing pandemic. All of the award winners truly embody the spirit of Law Day and it was inspirational to hear their stories and Justice Stephens' story and to think about how real life overlaps with the privileges we enjoy in this country, as provided to us by our legal system," said Andy Schuh, Skagit County Bar Association President.
If you have any questions about the Law Day event, celebration and the award recipients, contact Heather D. Webb at email@example.com