News and Information
May 19, 2015

Virginia State Bar Announces 2015 Law in Society Contest Winners

Remy Oliver, a senior at Dominion High School in Sterling, has been awarded first place in the 2015 Law in Society Contest sponsored by the Virginia State Bar and its Litigation Section.

Oliver won for his essay “Law In Society: The Commencement Debate.” He will receive $2,300.

This year’s essay contest asked students to address a situation in fictional Rocktown, Virginia, where Angel Bradford, a Rocktown High School alumna and now CEO of a large dairy conglomerate, is invited by a public school principal to speak at commencement. Twelfth-grader Susan Statler, president of the school’s Animal Rights Club, begins an online petition to prevent Bradford from speaking, not only at RHS but also at a local private school, citing claims of animal abuse within the CEO’s company. Adding to the chaos, Bradford contemplates suing Susan and the Animal Rights Club for defamation. The schools’ principals and students appeal to a retired judge (the writer) to resolve the issue in a way that conforms with the law and calm the community. Oliver’s essay is available at

The Law in Society award was developed to increase awareness of and appreciation for the US Constitution and legal system. Oliver’s essay was among dozens submitted by public, private, and homeschooled students in the equivalent of high school. Oliver will receive his award during a ceremony at Dominion High School on Wednesday, June 3.

Alissa Wang, a senior at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, and Nadia Zakula, a junior at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, placed second and third, respectively. Wang will receive $1,850 and Zakula $1,350.

Five honorable mentions will be awarded to: William Edmisten of Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Molly Solomon of James Wood High School in Winchester, Celeste Morris of West Springfield High School in Springfield, Sarah Kinsey of East Rockingham High School in Elkton, and Brenna Bowman of Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach.

 Each honorable mention will be awarded $250. All winners will receive plaques commemorating their win and the newest edition of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

Updated: May 19, 2015