Law Day 2015: Show Us Your Magna Carta Art!

Vol. 40 No. 2


AnnMichelle G. Hart is an Assistant Editor of The Affiliate, an ABA YLD Scholar, and the principal attorney and founder of the HartLaw Firm in Federal Way, Washington.

We all know the saying, “A picture paints a thousand words.” Well, this year the American Bar Association invites secondary school students to pull out all the stops and get creative by showing through their art what the Magna Carta means to them. Today’s students are tomorrow’s citizens and voters. By understanding the Magna Carta and its significance to our country’s foundation, students will gain a better grasp of what makes America strong. ABA President William C. Hubbard chose this year’s theme, which is part of our Association’s larger annual Law Day celebration. This year we will celebrate the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary beginning on Law Day, May 1, 2015, by commemorating the “Great Charter of Liberties.” In doing so, we will rededicate ourselves to advancing the rule of law around the world.

The Magna Carta was sealed in 1215, and it has become an international symbol of the rule of law. It has inspired many of what we hold as our basic American rights: due process, habeas corpus, trial by jury, and the right to travel, among others. To portray the Magna Carta’s meaning, students may submit art in two-dimensions, not to exceed 11″ x 17″, and in any medium they choose, including but not limited to drawings, paintings, films, photographs, graphic novels, and comics. All 9th through 12th grade students in public, private, home, and charter schools across the United States can and should enter. The contest opens on December 2, 2014, and all entries must be submitted by March 31, 2015.

Participants may submit entries either individually or in teams of up to six students. All qualified participants under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the Parental Permission Release Form, and an adult must sign each entry form. The winner will receive prizes valued at up to $750, and the runners-up for both team and individual categories will each receive prizes valued at up to $250. The artwork will be returned after the competition to the students who created and submitted it. The Division of Public Education, however, may use the winning submissions in their publications or presentations. Governing rules and entry information can be found on the Law Day 2015 webpage. All questions regarding the Law Day Art Contest should be directed to the contact information contained on this year’s postcard or digital flyer.

As sponsors of the Law Day Art Contest, the Young Lawyers Division tasks a team to send out postcards announcing the contest to the education departments of all U.S. states and major cities. The team also judges the entries and chooses the winners. Every ABA YLD member also will receive a digital flyer announcing the contest. The Law Day team encourages all lawyers to forward this contest announcement to teachers and school administrators who might have students interested in competing. “Last year there were 86 entries from 25 different schools,” said Elizabeth Palmer, Director of Public Service and the head of this year’s Law Day competition. As a Division member, be sure to contact your leadership team if you are interested in working in the Law Day Art Contest. The Young Lawyers Division annually appoints volunteers from those who request a leadership role.


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