We are pleased to announce our Thirteenth (13th) Annual Law Day Essay Contest (2018 Law Day Essay Contest) .

2018 is the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 14th Amendement to the Constitution of the United States; so this year's constest is grounded in the "Reconstruction Amendments" of which the 14th is the middle.

Our Law Day Essay Contest is designed to encourage young people to think about the role of law in society and how law affects their everyday lives, even at a young age. Local Juvenile Court Judge Warren Caswell has sponsored this contest each year since opening his practice in Madison County and has continued the tradition throughout his service on the bench. Law Day, May 1st of each year, was first proclaimed by President Eisenhower in 1958. Law Day is a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law so that we all can strengthen our American heritage of liberty, justice and equality under the law.

The 2018 Northern Judical Circuit Juvenile Court Thirteenth Annual Law Day Essay Contest is open to students in the 9th-12th grades residing in Elbert, Franklin, Hart, Madison & Oglethorpe counties. Students who are in the care of the Northern Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court are also eligible regardless of where they are currently placed. Essays will be judged primarily on how well the student supports his/her arguments. Additionally, essays will be judged based upon format, clarity, style, creativity and overall effort. As always essays will not be judged based upon the ultimate answer or position taken.

Background Information for Essay:

The "Reconstruction Amendments" are the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution and were all introduced and ratified in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and thus enshrined in the Constitution Lincoln's famous Emancipation Proclomation. The 14th Amendment, perhaps the most litigated amendment in the U.S. Supreme Court, is one of the document's longest amendments. The 14th enshrines many guarantees including Citizenship, Privileges and Immunities, Due Process, and Equal Protection- to name a few. The 15th Amendment prohibits denying someone the right to vote based on their race, color, or previous condition of servitude.


Considering the above background information, compose an essay answering this question: Between the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments which is the most important and why?

Entrants should choose a definite position pertaining to the topic and write a persuasive essay for their chosen position. The essay should attempt to balance their desired goal with the direction of our law and Constitution.

First Prize is a $500.00 cash scholarship while the runner-up will receive a $200 Cash Scholarship. Essays must be postmarked by April 16, 2018 to be eligible for consideration. The winners will be announced on May 1st 2018. The winning essays will be published on our website and the manuscript will be submitted to the student's local newspaper, in addition to the cash prize. Additional information on the contest can be found here: Announcement

All entries must be accompanied by a completed and signed entry form available here.
Entry Form


The purpose of the Law Day Essay Contest is to encourage students to think about the role of law in American Government and how they interact with law on a daily basis- even as youths. The winning entries are posted below in Adobe pdf format.

2018 Winners

Winners will be announced on May 1, 2018

2017 Winners

1st Place Miss Elizabeth Johnson

2nd Place Mr. Jackson Caruso

2016 Winners

1st Place Miss Samantha Kincaid

2nd Place Mr. Eric Whitmire

2015 Winners

1st Place Mr. Andrew S. Zemaitis

2nd Place Miss Hannah Smith

2014 Winners

1st Place Mr. Zachary Tellano

2nd Place Mr. Andrew S. Miller

2013 Winners

1st Place Mr. Andrew S. Miller

2nd Place Mr. Zachary Tellano

2012 Winners

1st Place Miss Amanda Eubanks

2nd Place Miss Hannah Smith

2011 Winners

1st Place Miss Amanda Eubanks

2nd Place Miss Madeline Yearwood

2009 Winners

1st Place Mr. Hoyt Henshaw

2nd Place Miss Collin Bryant

2008 Winners

1st Place Mr. Dallas Porterfield

2nd Place Miss Kalie Hall