Local attorneys are joining their peers across Oklahoma today in offering free legal advice as part the 36th annual statewide celebration of Law Day.

Carter County Bar Association president Brad Wilson said members of the local bar will participate in the popular “Ask A Lawyer” phone-in event from the Carter County Courthouse.

“Our local bar association will be answering phone calls from 5:30 to 8 p.m,” Wilson said. “There will be multiple attorneys available to answer questions and to provide free legal counseling services.”

Area residents who want to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain free legal advice should call (580) 223-5253.

Wilson said this year’s Law Day theme is “Democracy and You.” The theme is aimed at illustrating the role democracy plays in everyday life.

Lawyers in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are staffing a statewide, toll-free “Ask A Lawyer” telephone number from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The toll-free number is (800) 456-8525. Oklahoma Bar Association president Renee DeMoss said the statewide number will also feature Spanish-speaking attorneys and translators to take calls from those who only speak Spanish.

In addition to offering fee legal advice via the “Ask A Lawyer” call-in project, an “Ask A Lawyer” program will air at 7 p.m. on OETA stations. The show is designed to share information about legal issues in easy-to-understand language.

This year the televised topics include:

- Human trafficking

- Water rights

- Disaster assistance

- A 1960s Oklahoma Supreme Court scandal

Although Law Day is a national observance, it was Wewoka attorney and 1953 Oklahoma Bar Association president Hicks Epton who originally had the idea of celebrating the law and how it affects the lives of citizens. 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.

Law Day serves as a reminder to Oklahomans of their rights, privileges and duties as citizens.