News and Information
February 05, 2007

Immigration Issue Is Topic of Legal Essay Contest

Legal Essay Contest for High School Students to Bring Higher Prizes

Topic Is “Undocumented Students’ Admission to Public Universities???

The Virginia State Bar and its Litigation Section are celebrating the 15th anniversary of its Law in Society Award essay contest with higher prizes for Virginia high school students. The 2007 contest, which began today, is designed to increase awareness and appreciation of the legal system and the U.S. Constitution.

This year, students are asked to discuss whether people with undocumented citizenship status should be allowed to attend state-supported universities. It presents the story of a high school senior who is a stellar student, but who came to the United States illegally as a child. The hypothetical asks whether the state, which educated the young man through high school, should continue to support his education.

The contest attracts hundreds of entries every year, and government teachers use it in their classrooms to teach constitutional concepts. A lesson plan that complies with the Virginia Standards of Learning will be available to teachers.

Awards are given to students whose essays show superior understanding of the value of law in everyday life. The contest is open to all Virginia high school students age 19 or younger in public, private or home schools. Essays and entry forms must be received at the Richmond offices of the Virginia State Bar by 4:00 PM on March 9, 2007.

The 2007 essay hypothetical may be read at and an entry form may be downloaded at that site. For information, call (804) 775-0586.

Ten prizes are awarded, doubled in value from previous years: first place ($2,000 U.S. Savings Bond or $1,000 cash); second place ($1,000 bond or $500 cash); third place ($750 bond or $325 cash); and seven honorable mentions ($200 bonds or $100 cash). All winners also receive a Law in Society plaque and a two-volume dictionary and thesaurus set.

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Updated: Feb 05, 2007