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Law Day 2019
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Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society

The Maine State Bar Association invited Maine students to participate in its Law Day contests. Students in grades 9-12 were eligible for the essay contest and students in grades 4-8 were eligible for the art poster contest. Established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, Law Day honors the rule of law. Law Day, which is held annually on May 1, provides an opportunity to understand how law and the legal process protect our liberty, strive to achieve justice, and contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share.

Law Day Theme: The 2019 Law Day theme – Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society – focuses on these cornerstones of representative government and calls on us to understand and protect these rights to ensure, as the U.S. Constitution proposes, “the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.” In the United States and around the world, freedom of speech and the press are among the most important foundations for a free society. Free speech and free press are prominent topics in public discourse and litigation. It is impossible to imagine a free society without these individual liberties, yet historical and current debates surrounding them continually challenge us to consider their boundaries and resilience. Changes in technology have reshaped how free speech and free press work in the everyday world.  Law Day 2019 offers the opportunity to explore this pair of freedoms by probing their history and considering their future. Should all speech be “free?” What is the role of government in regulating or protecting the press? Should speech or the press be constrained through laws or norms? Can a free society exist without free speech and free press?

The Bar Association received seven essays from students at four schools and 27 posters from students at five schools. MSBA President Eric Columber and Immediate Past President Susan Driscoll served as judges. The winning pieces will be published in the Maine Bar Journal.

2019 Law Day Essay Contest Winner:

 Kaelynn Lawlor, Grade 9
Hodgdon Middle/High School (Hodgdon, Me.)
Teacher: Linda Garcia
Read Kaelynn's essay here.

2019 Law Day Essay Contest Runner-Up:

Meghan Peters, Grade 9
Hodgdon Middle/High School (Hodgdon, Me.)
Teacher: Linda Garcia
Read Meghan's essay here.

2019 Law Day Art Poster Contest: Winner, Grades 4-5:

Sophie Harmon, Grade 5
Beech Hill School (Otis, Me.)
Teacher: Miranda Grant

2019 Law Day Art Poster Contest: Winner, Grades 6-8

Samuel Dyndiuk, Grade 6
Beech Hill School (Otis, Me.)
Teacher: Miranda Grant

Maine Bar Association 124 State St. Augusta, ME 04330