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Previous entry records for the South Carolina Bar Senior Lawyers Division’s annual Law Day Essay contest were shattered as this year’s contest saw the largest school and individual participation in history of the contest. Essays were submitted from two dozen different education institutions and programs from across the Palmetto State.

This year’s theme was based on the American Bar Association’s Law Day 2020 theme, “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy,” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. Students were asked to submit an essay of 1,000 words or less explaining how the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment made the American ideal of equality of all more of a reality.

The overall winning essay comes from Jacob Price, a senior at Spartanburg High School. The piece earned Jacob a $1,000 award and an American Bar Association medallion and certificate.

“The struggle for women’s suffrage in America was lengthy and arduous, and even after its passage, centuries of inequality and traditional gender patterns have prevented women from gaining complete political equality,” he writes. “Perhaps one day, women will attain full equality and thousands of years of male-dominated society will come to a long-awaited end."

The contest also recognizes grade-level entry winners with a $500 prize and ABA medallion and certificate. Grade-level winners are as follows:

  • 12th Grade Winner: Kylan Hayes, Dorman High School, Spartanburg
  • 11th Grade Winner: Amber Saitta, Pickens High School, Pickens
  • 10th Grade Winner: Erin Vander Ploeg, Dorman High School, Spartanburg
  • 9th Grade Winner: Donnilyn Green-Johnson, Carolina Forest High School, Myrtle Beach

The SC Bar Senior Lawyers Division has sponsored the annual Law Day Essay contest for nearly a decade with a goal of encouraging a better understanding of the Constitution and the importance of the rule of law among South Carolina high school students.

The SLD would like to thank Fifth Circuit Court Judge Mark Hayes, Law Day Essay contest coordinator, for another successful contest and all volunteer circuit court judges who served as essay graders.