News Release


Release: Contact:

Christine Morganti
(505) 797-6028

State Bar Essay Contest Offers Cash Prizes

Albuquerque, N.M.— The State Bar of New Mexico is accepting entries from high school juniors and seniors from around the state for its annual essay contest.

This year’s assignment is entitled Symbolism and Freedom of Religion, which deals with personal freedoms in the school environment. Thoughtful essays expressing personal points of view will be accepted until March 11.

Essays must contain 1000–1500 words and will be judged by a panel of judges, lawyers, State Bar staff and educators.

The law firm of Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk PA sponsors cash awards of $1000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place. In addition, the first place winner’s classroom receives $500. Winners are recognized at the annual Law Day Luncheon in May in Albuquerque.

Last year’s winners were first place Jordan Pruitt of Onate High School in Las Cruces; second place Ellen Rabin, Los Alamos High School in Los Alamos; and third place James Billingham, Valley High School in Albuquerque.

Now in its 22nd year, the contest is sponsored by the State Bar to promote higher education and to encourage an appreciation of the law.

High school language arts and social studies teachers throughout the state in both public and private schools have received contest materials. Extensive materials are also provided on the State Bar website at Contest information and entry form, a tutorial on writing a legal essay, the scoring rubric, standards and benchmarks for teachers, and essays from previous contests are available to assist students and teachers.

The State Bar of New Mexico was organized in 1886 and is composed of more than 8500 members. Its purposes are to aid the courts in administering justice and preserving the rule of law, and to foster a high standard of integrity and competence within the legal profession.