May 01, 2017

American Bar Association announces winner of 7th Annual Law Day Art Contest

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2017 –The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division announced that Cortnie Phillips of Beaver Area High School in Beaver, Pa.,, has won its seventh annual Law Day Art Contest for single entry and that Jose Ruiz and Hassan Saleh of Bell High School in Bell, Calif. won first place in the group submission category. 

Phillips’ artwork, titled, “Take It Into Your Own Hands,” is based on this year’s Law Day theme, “The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy.”

In the spirit of collaboration, Ruiz and Hassan’s collage submission was titled “Equality to All.” 

“The Law Day Art Contest provides an opportunity for high school students to consider legal concepts and use their creativity to express their ideas,” said Latia Ward, Law Day team leader and chair of the Young Lawyers Division Public Education Committee.  “Winners of this year's Law Day Art Contest have represented the theme "The Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming American Democracy" in their artwork by addressing issues such as the right to vote, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to freedom of speech.”

The winners will receive prizes up to $750. Finalists were evaluated based on originality, creativity, quality and relevance to the contest theme.

Shyaoman Zhang of Washtenaw International High School in Ypsilanti, Mich., was the runner-up in the single-entry category. Lucas Vazquez and Darrianna Perez of the High School of Economics & Finance in New York, N.Y. were runners-up in the group category.

The annual Law Day Contest is an opportunity for students to learn about the legal system. All U.S. students, grades nine to 12, were eligible to submit an art piece on this year’s contest theme. 

Co-sponsors of the contest were the ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence and the ABA Division for Public Education.

The following is a list of the winners and links to their work:

Group Submission Category:

First Place
Jose Ruiz and Hassan Saleh – “Equality to All”
Bell High School
Bell, Calif.       

Second Place
Lucas Vasquez and Darrianna Perez – “We the People”
High School of Economics & Finance
New York, N.Y.

Single Submission Category:

First Place
Cortnie Phillips – “Take It Into Your Own Hands”
Beaver Area High School
Beaver, Pa.

Second Place
Shyaoman Zhang – “Equal Protection of the Laws”
Washtenaw International High School
Ypsilanti, Mich.

About Law Day     

Envisioned in 1957 by then-ABA President Charles S. Rhyne as a national day to recognize the country’s commitment to the rule of law, Law Day was established by President Dwight Eisenhower the following year. Congress issued a joint resolution in 1961 designating May 1 as the official Law Day. Many civic groups and bar associations celebrate with a month of programs, presentations and events. Visit the ABA’s Law Day website ( for information about Law Day programs throughout the country.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews