Attorneys across Oklahoma will provide free legal advice Thursday during the 67th annual statewide celebration of Law Day.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa lawyers will staff the statewide toll-free hotline between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday. Those who speak only Spanish can call the hotline with legal questions from 3-9 p.m., as Spanish-speaking attorneys and translators will be available to take calls. The toll-free number to call is 800-456-8525 or email AskALawyer@okbar.org or PregunteAUnAbogado@okbar.org.

“We have recruited hundreds of volunteer attorneys to answer legal questions at no cost to callers,” said OBA President Kimberly Hays of Tulsa. “It’s part of our annual effort to educate the public about their rights under the law, but even more importantly, to create better awareness of the role of the American legal system. We hope all Oklahomans take advantage of this free community service.”

Lawyers in other counties will also be giving free legal advice. About 300 lawyers will be volunteering statewide. 

The Ask A Lawyer free legal advice project is one of several events in which Oklahoma lawyers participate to observe Law Day. This year, more than 900 students statewide entered Law Day art and writing contests. Other students are taking part in various Law Day activities, such as classroom visits from lawyers and judges and learning how legal rights and obligations change after one’s 18th birthday.

The accompanying Ask A Lawyer television program will air across the state at 7 p.m. Thursday on OETA. The show is designed to share information about legal issues in easy-to-understand language. This year’s topics are mental health court, estate planning and expungement of criminal records.

Why celebrate Law Day?

Though Law Day is celebrated across the country, it was Wewoka attorney and 1953 OBA President Hicks Epton who originally had the idea of celebrating the law and how it affects our lives in 1951. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day nationally by proclamation in 1958; in 1961, Congress set aside May 1 as a day for all Americans to celebrate their freedom and the ideals of equality and justice under the law.

More information about Law Day is available on the OBA website at www.okbar.org/LawDay.

The 18,000-member Oklahoma Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.

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