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The connection between law and everyday life is the focus in Philadelphia this week.

The 15th Annual Law and Society Week offers dozens of informative legal presentations to the community. Kathy Smith, director of the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society was interviewed. 

Police and fire investigators from Philadelphia and Wilmington will show how they process crime scenes and determine the cause of blazes during the 15th Annual Law and Society Week (Feb. 24-27) held at Community College of Philadelphia’s Northeast Regional Center.

Their presentations will enable Philadelphians to better understand the behind-the-scenes challenges facing crime scene investigators who don’t work on TV shows and can’t get DNA evidence back in 20 minutes.

Chief Ed Hojnicki Battalion Chief for the Wilmington Fire Department will present “Anatomy of a Fire Investigation” on February 26, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Room 124, 12901 Townsend Road. He will share nationally recognized scientific and practical investigation techniques.

Law and Society Week events also include “Philadelphia CSI Comes to NERC” starting at 10 a.m. February 27 in Room 124. During the session, members of the Philadelphia Police Department Crime Scene Unit will explain the methods used to identify and process crime scene evidence. Graphic crime scene photos may be shown.

Sponsored by the College’s Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society, the annual event offers more than two dozen workshops, lectures, panel discussions and demonstrations that are free and open to the public on the College’s Main Campus, West, Northwest and Northeast Regional Centers. The legal system touches every American in a variety of ways. Law and Society Week was established to inform students and the general public of emerging legal issues and trends, while providing practical advice from respected experts.

“When students see how law relates to the technology they use, the food they eat, and just about every topic imaginable, that’s a real light bulb moment for them,” said Kathleen M. Smith, J.D., director of the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society. She launched the event 15 years ago with the help of her husband David Freeman, an associate professor of Social Science at the College.

Other 2014 highlights at the Regional Centers include:

  • Homeland Security Mobile Command Post Tours: Tours are provided 10a.m. to 3 p.m., each hour on the hour with the last tour offered at 2 p.m., February 26. The command unit will be parked in front of the building entrance, 12901 Townsend Road.
  • Key Cases in Digital Forensics: Major criminal cases increasingly involve digital evidence. Digital forensics expert Pamela King discusses key cases and how digital forensics is used to bring perpetrators to justice. It will begin at 6 p.m. February 27 in Room 124, 12901 Townsend Road.
  • Cyber Intelligence-Why it Matters: Learn about issues of intellectual property, privacy and cyber harassment. The event is co-sponsored and presented by Bowman & Partners, LLP. It will begin at 6 p.m. February 26 at the Northwest Regional Center, 1300 West Godfrey Avenue.
  • International Human Trafficking: Human trafficking is considered one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. Forced labor takes different forms. Presentation is provided by Nicole Vadino, MA, associate professor of Social Science. It will begin at 11 a.m., February 26 in Room 216 of the Northwest Regional Center, 1300 West Godfrey Avenue.

Some Law & Society Week lectures qualify for Continuing Legal Education credits for legal professionals. To learn how to receive continuing education credit, contact LawCenter@ccp.edu. A complete listing of events and dates for Law and Society Week 2014 is available at URL: bit.ly/ccplaw.

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 24, 2014—Using the case of two 7th graders who were banned from wearing bracelets with the words I ♥ boobies, judges will discuss how issues become a federal case as part of Community College of Philadelphia’s 15th Annual Law and Society Week (Feb. 24-27), hosted by the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society.

The presentation “Making a Federal Case Out of It: A View of the Federal Bench from the Inside” will feature prominent members of the federal judiciary, including Judge Theodore A. McKee, Chief Justice of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Thomas L. Ambro, 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, and Kent A. Jordan, 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel will be held 8 a.m. February 25 in the Great Hall of the Winnet Student Life Building, situated on the west side of 17th Street, between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.

Moderated by David Keller Trevaskis, Esq., the panel will discuss how cases are appealed to the 3rd Circuit Court, the procedure for arguing before the Court, how judges prepare, and what judges listen for in argument. Each member of the audience will receive a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution.

This discussion is among the more than two dozen free workshops, lectures, panel discussions and demonstrations scheduled for the 2014 Law and Society Week. The legal system touches every American in a variety of ways. Law and Society Week was established to inform students and the general public of emerging legal issues and trends, while offering practical advice from respected experts.

“When students see how law relates to the technology they use, the food they eat, and just about every topic imaginable, that’s a real light bulb moment for them,” said Kathleen M. Smith, J.D., director of the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society. Smith launched the annual Law and Society Week 15 years ago with the help of her husband David Freeman, an associate professor of Social Science at the College.

Activities kick off February 24 with "A Conversation with Honorable Edward G. Rendell”, which will be held at 6 p.m. in the Great Hall. The former Pennsylvania Governor and Philadelphia Mayor will discuss his career and use the prism of his personal experience to give insight into current events.

Other 2014 highlights include:

  • The Judges’ Panel: Moderated by the Honorable Holly J. Ford Judge Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, will begin at 6 p.m. February 27 in the Great Hall. It features distinguished Philadelphia county and municipal judges discussing the challenges of a legal career.
  • Alternatives to Juvenile Courts: The Youth Court at Strawberry Mansion High School: This presentation on the Strawberry Mansion Youth Court includes a demonstration of youths supporting each other through conflict resolution. It will begin at 1 p.m. February 25 in the Great Hall of the Winnet Student Life Building, which is on the west side of 17th Street, between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.
  • The Evolving Role of DNA in the Criminal Justice System: This panel discussion will explore how DNA evidence is used in criminal investigations and prosecution. It will begin at 9:40 a.m., February 25 in Room S2-3 of the Winnet Student Life Building.
  • Witness to Innocence: The Kirk Bloodsworth Story: Kirk Bloodsworth is the first DNA exonerated from death row in the United States and his story has been told in the New York Times, CNN and on NPR. He will share his story of serving eight years on death row for the assault and murder of a child before becoming the first person in the U.S. to be exonerated as a result of DNA evidence. It will begin at 1 p.m. February 27 in the Great Hall of the Winnet Student Life Building, which is on the west side of 17th Street, between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.

Some lectures qualify for Continuing Legal Education credits for legal professionals. To learn more on how to receive continuing education credits from Law and Society Week presentations contact LawCenter@ccp.edu. A complete listing of events and dates for Law and Society Week 2014 is available URL: bit.ly/ccplaw.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter on Feb. 18 called upon the city’s top business leaders to join with him in seeking full and fair funding for public education, and he called quality education "the Civil Rights issue of the 21st century."

"Whether you walk, drive or take the train, come to Harrisburg with me and urge the Commonwealth to make public education a top priority," Nutter said at the annual Mayoral Luncheon sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Nutter told the audience, filled with leading business and political leaders, that an investment in education is an investment in the future. "It’s an investment in making our region more competitive. It’s an investment in our city, the Commonwealth and our nation. I am asking you to join me in the fight for the future, the fight for our children, the fight for a smarter, ready-for-business Philadelphia."

In a speech in which the mayor touted many of the region’s and corporate community’s top accomplishments, Nutter devoted part of his address to the financial challenges facing the School District of Philadelphia, linking the education of local students to the region’s shared prosperity. Community College of Philadelphia is the top college destination for graduates of the School District of Philadelphia.

"In my view, access to a high-quality education is the Civil Rights issue of the 21st century. You are less likely to become a first-class scholar with second-class education funding. We’re less likely to become the world-class city we want to be with a workforce in which many struggle with low literacy skills and poor educational attainment,” Nutter told a packed auditorium at the Marriott Hotel.

Nutter, who is also a member of the Community College of Philadelphia Board of Trustees, said solving the city’s “education problem” must become a business and economic imperative. "If we don’t address this problem now, in 10 years, we won’t have a competitive workforce, meaning you won’t have a qualified pool of workers to fill available positions." Nutter recommended a number of ways to move public education forward, including:

  • A bold new approach that would make schools innovative campuses of educational excellence.
  • Fair and full funding for the School District of Philadelphia and every other school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • A predictable and sustainable funding system for public education in Pennsylvania.

In listing the top achievements of 2013, Mayor Nutter also mentioned the College's Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses-Greater Philadelphia program, which supports the region’s established entrepreneurs. The program offers 14 weeks of entrepreneurial instruction, one-on-one coaching and access to capital to eligible business owners from the region. Since its launch last year, 50 business owners from across the region have completed the program in Philadelphia. Applications for 10,000 Small Businesses are accepted on a rolling basis at Community College of Philadelphia. Visit www.ccp.edu/10KSB for more information.

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