2009 Law Day Art & Essay Contest Winners - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on May 7, 2012

Annual contest celebrates Lincoln’s bicentennial

The YLD has announced the winners of the 2009 Tennessee Law Day Art and Essay Competitions.

Each May, the American Bar Association, in conjunction with state and local bar associations, sponsors Law Day programs around the country. The purpose of celebrating Law Day is two-fold: (1) to instill in students an appreciation for the law and foster a greater understanding of the American judicial system, and (2) provide an opportunity for attorneys to serve their local communities.

The theme of this year’s contest was: "A Legacy of Liberty: Celebrating Lincoln’s Bicentennial." The theme marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lincoln and focused on whether the goals of the Gettysburg Address and the Declaration of Independence have been met, and what role the law has played and/or should continue to play in securing liberty and equality for people everywhere.

Students receive cash prizes for their winning entries. Look for a display of winning entries at the TBA Convention in Memphis this June.

The YLD would like to thank Knoxville lawyer Kelli Guinn with Howard & Howard for serving as this year’s state Law Day Art and Essay Contest coordinator.

Essay Competition Winners

First Place 
Nathan House
12th Grade
Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School
link to PDF of essay

Second Place
Desiree Kamerman
9th Grade
Hardin Valley Academy
link to PDF of essay

Third Place
Joshua Shepherd
11th Grade
Tri-Cities Christian School
link to PDF of essay

Excerpts from First Place Essay
By Nathan House

The idea that the United States has won the fight to make the principles of the Gettysburg Address and the Declaration of Independence absolute is flawed. It is an ongoing battle. America still contains corners of intolerance.

[But] it is easy to only view egregious acts. [W]hat is more imperative is that one look at what was done about these inequalities. This country’s aspirations to greatness have come at no small cost. Sacrifices for [the] lofty ambition [of freedom] have been nearly innumerable, defined by wars and decided through struggle. [I]ntrinsic rights like freedom and liberty, were once, and are still, fought over. America has been known [for its] "freedom fighters" those who would go the extra mile to ensure "unalienable rights" are granted to every man, woman and child. Many Americans before us have felt this call, and they have fought the good fight. John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King worked in the same era to promote racial equality...as Abraham Lincoln [had] sought unity for the country he led. Lincoln’s celebrated vision for a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" has become a litmus test in this county for success.

[If success] is defined by how much effort is appropriated toward a goal, America, I would say, is THE success story. It is time to tell our success story to nations around the globe.

Art Competition Winners

First Place
Chihye Kim

4th Grade
Cedar Bluff Elementary, Knoxville

Second Place
Caroline Daniel

4th Grade
Franklin Road Academy, Brentwood

Third Place
Miranda Williams

7th Grade
Smoky Mountain Elementary, Cosby