February 1, 2018

Law Day Poster and Essay Contests Now Accepting Submissions

Students are encouraged to enter the 2018 Austin Bar Law Day Poster and Essay Contest.  The deadline for entries is Friday, March 9, 2018.

The poster contest is open to students in kindergarten through 8th grade, and the essay contest is for students in 9th through 12th grade.  The theme this year is “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom”.  Entries must be the student’s original work and express their interpretation of the following prompt: “Explain or depict why the separation of powers is important to preserving freedom.”

CLICK HERE for contest rules and entry form for the poster contest. (Grades K-8)
CLICK HERE for contest rules and entry form for the essay contest. (Grades 9-12)


2018 Law Day Theme
Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom

The U.S. Constitution sets out a system of government with distinct and independent branches—Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court. It also defines legislative, executive, and judicial powers and outlines how they interact. These three separate branches share power, and each branch serves as a check on the power of the others. “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” James Madison explained in Federalist 51. Why? Madison believed that the Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances preserve political liberty. They provide a framework for freedom. Yet, this framework is not self-executing. We the people must continually act to ensure that our constitutional democracy endures, preserving our liberties and advancing our rights. The Law Day 2018 theme enables us to reflect on the separation of powers as fundamental to our constitutional purpose and to consider how our governmental system is working for ourselves and our posterity.

Law Day

Each year, Law Day is celebrated nationally on May 1 to honor the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in this democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.

Local bar associations, courts, schools, youth groups, and community organizations are encouraged to hold Law Day programs to help people understand how law keeps us free and how our legal system strives to achieve justice.

Helpful links:

Educational resources

American Bar Association:   https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/initiatives_awards/law-day.html