Law Day Essay Contest

Posted Date: 10/9/2018

Students in grades 4-12 could win up to $300. 

Essay prompts

Grades 9-12: For much of our history, freedoms such as speech and press were seen as fundamental, absolutely essential to effective government, the advancement of society and the enlightenment of individual citizens. Recent months have seen radio personalities deny the occurrence of school shootings, neo-Nazis take to the streets to put forth their racist agenda and the President of the United States denounce the media as “the enemy of the people.”

In view of developments such as these, is it time to rethink, reconsider and revise the protection offered by the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press?

Grades 4-8:
Those who designed our constitutional system believed that the freedom of speech and freedom of press were essential to our government running properly, vital to our society continuing to develop in a positive way and necessary for citizens to grow as individuals. Today, more than 200 years later, do you think freedom of speech and freedom of the press are as important as the Framers of our Constitution thought they were?

An essay responding to the prompt above could win one of your students $300. Help your students polish their writing skills with the Missouri NEA/Missouri Bar Law Day Essay Contest.

All entries should be sent to the judging coordinator listed in the flier. Essays must be postmarked by Feb. 1, 2019. Information packets, including publicity materials, will be mailed to school district superintendents and principals in October.

Students will compete in three categories, grades 4-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Entries should be no longer than 700 words and will be judged on general appearance, structure, content, creativity and originality.

The first-place winner in each category receives $300, second-place winners receive $200, and third-place winners receive $150. State-level awards will be presented in April at a banquet in Jefferson City.

The Law Day Essay Contest is a project of the MNEA Public Relations Committee and the Missouri Bar Young Lawyers Section. More information can be found in the downloadable packet of materials. If you have any questions or concerns about the Law Day Essay Contest, contact  Debra Beckman at (


2019 Law Day Essay Contest Materials (pdf)

2019 Participation Certificate (pdf)

2019 Winners 


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