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Law Day Essay Contest

In the past, the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and a number of local bar associations have teamed up to coordinate a statewide Law Day project. Focusing on how laws are developed, the project asked students (grades 7–12) to write about what they believed “ought to be a law.”

While the OSBA is no longer taking an active role in this valuable Law Day project, we would like to make our materials available for legal professionals and teachers who wish to continue the contest.

In addition, we have created a basic “how-to” list for guidance on starting your own program.

Lawyers, Bar Associations, and Judges:

You will need:

  • A participant packet containing a contest entry form, a list of rules and guidelines and judging criteria;
  • A works cited form (optional);
  • A timeline including the contest deadline;
  • Participating school(s) or student audience;
  • Attorney volunteer speakers;
  • Contest judges;
  • Judging worksheet;
  • Contest flyer.

    If you are interested in holding an essay contest, take these steps:

    1. Create a participant packet containing a contest entry form, a list of rules and guidelines, and judging criteria using the OSBA There Ought To Be A Law Essay Contest packet as a template. View packet template here.

    2. Create a “works cited” form for students to record resources. View a “works cited” form template here.

    3.. Obtain local schools’ contact information and make entry form and timeline available to interested teachers and administrators. Visit http://webapp2.ode.state.oh.us/data/extract_oed_addgrades.asp to obtain contact information for schools in your county.

    4. Recruit attorney volunteers in your community to speak to classes. Volunteers are welcome to use lesson plans from the OSBA There Ought To Be A Law Essay Contest. View lesson plans here. If you are unable to locate volunteers, please contact Debby Cooper at dcooper@ohiobar.org for assistance.

    5. Recruit volunteers to judge essays.

    6. Create a judging worksheet. View judging worksheet template here.

    7. Create a contest flyer. View a flyer template here.

    Making contacts and finding support for an essay contest can be time consuming. To help, we have provided sample contact letters and local new releases. View samples here.

    Teacher and Administrators:

    You will need:

  • A participant packet containing a contest entry form, a list of rules and guidelines and judging criteria;
  • A works cited form (optional);
  • A timeline including the contest deadline;
  • Participating school(s) or student audience;
  • Attorney volunteer speakers;
  • Contest judges;
  • Judging worksheet;
  • Contest flyer.

    1. Create a participant packet containing a contest entry form, a list of rules and guidelines, and judging criteria using the OSBA There Ought To Be A Law Essay Contest packet as a template. View packet template here.

    2. Create a “works cited” form for students to record resources. View a “works cited” form template here.

    3. Create a contest timeline including the deadline. View a timeline template here.

    4. Recruit attorney volunteers in your community to speak to classes. Volunteers are welcome to use lesson plans from the OSBA There Ought To Be A Law Essay Contest. View lesson plans here. If you are unable to locate volunteers, please contact Debby Cooper at dcooper@ohiobar.org for assistance.

    5. Recruit volunteers to judge essays.

    6. Create a judging worksheet. View judging worksheet template here.

    7. Create a contest flyer. View a flyer template here.

  • Contact OSBA


    Headquarters:

    1700 Lake Shore Drive
    Columbus, Ohio 43204

    Phone:

    (800) 282-6556


    Email:

    OSBA@Ohiobar.org

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