2023 Court Night Program

“Court Night” is an informational program about New Jersey’s court system cosponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the county and specialty bar associations in New Jersey. The purpose of the program is to open the courts to the public in order to explain how our judicial system works in an effort to demystify, educate and welcome. Events are planned around Law Day USA, held yearly on May 1st  to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession.

Court Night Programs honoring Law Day have been part of the NJSBF’s core mission to educate the public about New Jersey law for 30 years.

Previous topics covered have included Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change; Advancing the Rule of Law, Now; and the 100th anniversary of the transformative 19th Amendment to the Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Planned events have included mock trial presentations by students, essay contests, and discussions with judges and lawyers about the law and the trial process.

The 2023 Law Day theme, “Cornerstones of Democracy: Civics, Civility, and Collaboration” focuses on rebuilding trust in our institutions, respect for one another, and our willingness to collaborate to address the challenges that face our nation.

In recent years, tensions in our democratic system have revealed deep divisions in American society. These divisions are aggravated by incivility in public discourse and insufficient understanding among many people about the Constitution and the way American government works. Together, however, we can collaborate to overcome our differences, resolve our disputes, and preserve our democracy and republic. To that end, we encourage members of the legal profession to lead the way in promoting civics, civility, and collaboration—the cornerstones of our democracy.

Look for the 2024 Grant Application to be posted here in November 2023.

Questions? Contact Mary Jean Barnes, Director of Administration and Grant Programs, at [email protected].

The Foundation awarded the 2023 Court Night/Law Day grants to the following organizations:

  • Association of Black Women Lawyers
  • Atlantic County Bar Association
  • Burlington County Bar Association
  • Cape May County Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Foundation
  • Gloucester County Bar Foundation
  • Hudson County Bar Association
  • Hunterdon County Bar Association
  • Mercer County Bar Association
  • Monmouth County Bar Association
  • Passaic County Bar Association
  • Sussex County Bar Association