2024 Law Day Essay Packet

Each grade Best Essay Writer will receive a check for $500, a certificate and a medal from the American Bar Association.  Each Essay Writer of Distinction will receive a certificate and a medal from the ABA.  The checks, the certificates and medals will be distributed through Judge Hayes’ office.  Please contact Sharyn Walker in Judge Hayes’ office to arrange for the distribution at mhayessc@sccourts.org.  In the past, some school officials and/or parents request photographs when the presentation of the awards are accomplished. Ms. Walker can help with any such arrangements. 

The overall winner will be contacted by Tara Caine from the SC Bar Association to arrange for the presentation of her awards, which will include a check for $1,000, a certificate and a medal from the American Bar Association.

The annual Honorable J. Mark Hayes, II Law Day Essay Contest is sponsored by the Senior Division of the South Carolina Bar Association.  The 2023 essay contest was the thirteenth year that the Senior Division has sponsored the contest.  The purpose of the contest is to promote a better understanding of the Rule of Law and civic responsibility in the South Carolina’s youth.   The contest is opened to all 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students in South Carolina.  In 2021, the contest was named in honor of Circuit Judge J. Mark Hayes, II, in recognition of his work with the contest since its inception.  

The 2023 American Bar Association Law Day Theme was “Cornerstones of Democracy:  Civics, Civility, and Collaboration.”   As part of the Law Day essay contest, each student was asked to write a 1,000 word or less essay on the topic and to explain civics (the study of the rights and duties of citizenship) and why the founding fathers believed them to be important to the success of the American democratic experiment in self-governance. 

The essays were scored by volunteer graders from the South Carolina Circuit Court Judiciary. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sharyn Walker at  mhayessc@sccourts.org or 864-562-4144.

Thank you all for your continued attention and support of this worthy project.  Please encourage other teachers and students to participate in future Law Day Essay Contests.

Mark Hayes 

2023 Winning Essay 2022 Winning Essay 2021 Winning Essay 2020 Winning Essay 2019 Winning Essay 2018 Winning Essay 2017 Winning Essay 2016 Winning Essay