Law Week Activities

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What Is Law Week?

Law Day 2021 (May 1) focuses on the theme “Advancing the Rule of Law Now.” Learn more about it here.

ABA Law Day 2021 Logo

HBA Law Week Committee logoLaw Day is a national celebration of the rule of law in our society. It has been sponsored and promoted by the American Bar Association and the Houston Bar Association since 1958, when President Dwight Eisenhower designated it a national holiday. The HBA joins local and state bar associations nationwide in sponsoring activities surrounding May 1. While the HBA calls its celebration “Law Week,” it encompasses much more.

The Law Week Essay contest was established in late 1970s; poster contest was established in 1986; school reading program was established in 2003, as was the dialogue program, the photography contest was established in 2012. Special needs contests began in 2011. The Special Needs Day at the Courthouse began in 2013.

 

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Events

Readings

Attorney volunteers will read virtually to Harris County-area elementary schools between April 19 and May 14. We are reading the book What if Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick.

Click here to sign up your school for a reading.

For more information on the Law Week Reading program, contact Bonnie Simmons at bonnies@hba.org.

Multi-bar Law Day Celebration

The rule of law is the bedrock of American rights and liberties—in times of calm and unrest alike. The 2021 Law Day theme—Advancing the Rule of Law, Now—reminds all of us that we the people share the responsibility to promote the rule of law, defend liberty, and pursue justice.

In honor of Law Day, the Dallas Bar Association presents a Conversation with DBA President Aaron Tobin and Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, Monday, May 3 from noon to 1:00 p.m. Click here to RSVP.

Supported by Austin Bar Association, Austin Young Lawyers Association, Bell County Bar Association, Collin County Bar Association, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Dallas Bar Association, El Paso Bar Association, Houston Bar Association, Jefferson County Bar Association, San Antonio Bar Association, and Tarrant County Bar Association.

HYLA/HYLF Law Day Virtual Luncheon

Join us on Friday, May 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a virtual presentation by Supreme Court of Texas Justice Brett Busby, Haynes and Boone Senior Counsel Lynne Liberato, and University of Houston Law Center Dean Leonard Baynes. Click here to register.

This event is free for all to attend and is accredited for 1 hour of MCLE, including .25 hour of ethics. In addition, we will recognize the HYLA annual award winners and the HBA Law Day contest award winners.

Special Day at the Courthouse

High school special needs students and their teachers were invited to a virtual guardianship presentation by judges and lawyers. In case you missed it, view the recording below.

Click here for special needs legal resources.

 

Poster Outreach Workshops

The HBA coordinates with the Asian American Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association, and the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston to host poster contest workshops for young students in different Houston-area neighborhoods. These posters will be entered in the HBA Law Day Poster Contest.

Thank you to the Asian American Bar Association of Houston for participating in this year's activities with us!

La Asociación de Abogados de Houston (HBA) invita a todos los estudiantes del área del Condado de Harris a participar en su Concurso anual de carteles del Día de la Ley.

Dialogue on Freedom

In fall 2021, HBA Law Week Committee volunteers will deliver interactive virtual presentations at Harris County-area high schools, covering this year's topic of "Advancing the Rule of Law Now."

 

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Law Day Contest Results

The HBA’s annual Law Week Poster, Essay, and Photography contests invited all Harris County-area students to participate. Winners receive cash prizes and are recognized online and in publications.

Essay Contest

First Place
"The American Law System: Improved but Not Perfect"
By Eric Lee
Grade 12, Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston ISD
Teacher: Ms. Qian Zhang

Second Place
"Eliminating Wealth and Race in Conviction Decisions for a Fairer Rule of Law"
By Uma Patel
Grade 12, Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston ISD

Third Place
"The War on Americans"
By Kimberly Richardson
Grade 12, Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston ISD

 

Photography Contest

First Place
A black and white photo in portrait orientation. A single human figure kneels against the wall in a narrow hallway. They stare at the opposite wall. In the background, the hallway ends with the shadows of a staircase and balcony.
"Neglect"
By Brianna Tobias
Grade 12, G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Aldine ISD
Teacher: Matthew Kirkpatrick

Second Place
A landscape oriented photo in red, black and blue. Four young Black people in old fashioned clothing sit on a wooden bench, facing left. Each person wears a medical face mask and holds up a fist in the air.
"58 Years and Still Dreaming"
By Amare'on Reyna
Grade 12, G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Aldine ISD

Third Place
A black and white photo in portrait orientation. Four young Black men in modern clothing stand on idle bicycles in a row, facing the viewer. Each holds up a fist in the air. They appear to be stopped in the road.
"We."
By LaShawn Bolton
Grade 11, G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Aldine ISD

Honorable Mentions

A square photograph in black and white, showing a residential street. In the background, smoke billows from an industrial smokestack.
By Cindy Vega Aguilar
Grade 12, G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Aldine ISD

A portrait oriented photograph showing a human figure from the chest up, in black and white. The person's face is covered with a collage of close-ups of their features from various angles, including their hair, eyes, mouth, hand, and medical face mask. The background around them is plain white.
By Roberto Arroyo
Grade 11, Blanson CTE High School, Aldine ISD)

A black and white portrait photo of a Black teenage boy shown from behind, standing in the aisle of an empty school bus. He faces downward slightly to the left. His hands are cuffed together behind him.
By LaShawn Bolton
Grade 11, G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Aldine ISD

A portrait oriented color photo. A child looks up at the viewer through the shadow of a chain link fence. Their fingers are wrapped around some of the links.
By Arianna Hernandez
Grade 12, G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Aldine ISD

A portrait photo in color depicting a young woman from the waist up at a three-quarter view facing left toward the sun. She wears a white baseball cap with a rainbow heart, a tan face mask, Black Lives Matter earrings, a black soccer T-shirt, and a rainbow tutu. Behind her is a blue sky and a grassy field.
By Karen Lopez
Grade 12, Northside High School, Houston ISD

 

Poster Contest – K-2nd

First Place
A landscape oriented illustration with wavy red, white and blue horizontal stripes in the background. Three colorful human figures smile at the viewer, shown from the waist up. From left to right, they are labeled Fairness, Equality, and Kindness, each with a large red heart underneath the label.
"Fairness, Equality, and Kindness"
By Ryuki Hotta
Grade 2, Austin Parkway Elementary School, Fort Bend ISD
Teacher: Olivia Hooper

Second Place
A landscape oriented painting on a white background, with a miasma of colors bordering the bottom. Nine distinct looking women stand close together in a row, smiling at the viewer. The title at the top reads Gender Equality. Underneath the row of women is a list of occupations including doctor, president, astronaut, scientist, and lawyer in red, and veterinarian, police officer, judge, artist, and educator in blue.
"Gender Equality"
By Alessandra Zelaya
Grade 1, St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica

Third Place
A marker illustration in portrait orientation. The background is the American flag. In the foreground, a bald eagle perches in profile on a branch, facing right with determination. Around the eagle are the words We are free. We are strong. We are courage.
"Remember Bald Eagle"
By Naoki Hotta
Kindergarten, St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica

Honorable Mentions

A landscape oriented illustration with three different colored hands reaching upward from the center. Around the hands are steps that need to be taken to improve the rule of law, as well as the scales of justice in red.
By Leyna Cherry
Grade 2, Asian American Bar Assocation of Houston Poster Workshop

A colorful landscape oriented poster titled Improving the Rule of Law, illustrating a classroom setting and including the words School should have unlimited amount of supplies to work with and learn.
By Oliver Kelly
Grade 1, Asian American Bar Assocation of Houston Poster Workshop

A landscape oriented poster with the words You can only pick vegetables and fruits from your own garden above an illustration of a person in a garden.
By Robert Tibbals
Grade 1, Asian American Bar Assocation of Houston Poster Workshop

A landscape oriented poster with an illustration of the artist giving a speech to a crowd. Above the crowd, a plane flies a banner reading You Can Do It. A speech bubble comes from the artist reading We shall donate to the poor. Give money to who need it the most. And give food and money to the poor people. Also recycle, reduce, and reuse to help the earth.
By Vincent Wu
Grade 2, Asian American Bar Assocation of Houston Poster Workshop

 

Poster Contest – 3rd-5th

First Place
A painting in portrait orientation with a blue sky and fluffy white clouds in the background. At the top, the words Free Education in red and blue, with For All in a banner underneath. On the bottom half of the illustration is a large and diverse crowd of people. The five in front each look different, with discernible faces. All of them face the viewer.
"Free Education!"
By Perrin Aucoin
Grade 5, The Wide School
Teacher: Katy Garza

Second Place
A painting in landscape orientation. The background is solid black. In the center is the Earth. Concentric within the earth, a white circle illustrates three federal buildings labeled Judicial, Legislative, and Executive. Up from the bottom of the white circle and through the center, a pumped fist rises, comprised of puzzle pieces of various skin tones. A banner over the wrist reads The Equality Committee for an Antiracist Country
"Equality Committee for an Anti-Racist Country"
By London Casser
Grade 5, The Wide School

Third Place
A portrait oriented illustration on a white background. In front of a waving American flag, the masked heads of four different looking people float in a row, facing left. Each one has a speech bubble, reading from left to right, Stay Safe!, Pursue Justice!, Defend Liberty! and Protect Rights! The four speech bubbles connect to a single bubble at the bottom of the picture, reading We the People 2021 in red and blue block letters, surrounded by smiley faces and a scale of justice.
"We the People"
By Logan Lyn
Grade 5, iUniversity Prep

Honorable Mentions

A vertical poster with dark gray background. In the center are the words Lives Matter in block letters, the transgender flag, and the American flag. Around the center are a series of images of people, crows, and hand gestures.
By Aven Lumpkin
Grade 5, The Wide School

A landscape oriented poster. An arm clad in green reaches from the left to the center; an arm in blue does the same from the right. Their hands meet in the middle for a handshake. One hand is fair skinned and the other is dark skinned. Above them are the words Advancing the Rule of Law, Be Equal with a checkmark, a strike through the word Hate, and a strike through the phrase Racist People. Below the hands are two red hearts and the words Be Equal in block letters.
By Drake Ware
Grade 5, Osborne Elementary, Houston ISD

 

Poster Contest – 6th-8th

First Place
A portrait oriented painting on a blue background. The label at the top reads We All Have a Voice in red block letters. In pale blue in the background throughout the painting are two SARS-CoV-2 viruses, a person holding a Trump 2020 sign, and a person holding a BLM sign. In the foreground, a young Black person is seen from the chest up, facing the viewer. Long twists of hair drape over their right shoulder. The bottom half of their face is covered by a red mask with the words Protect the First Amendment written repeatedly in white.
"The First Amendment" By Luna Baba
Grade 6, The Wide School
Teacher: Katy Garza

Second Place
A portrait oriented illustration on a white background. The statue of liberty seen from the waist up, comes up from the bottom of the frame. She has no face. She holds a tree branch with a canopy at the top supporting the White House, Capitol Building, and Supreme Court. On the left in block letters is written Speech in blue, Press in green, and Religion in yellow. On the right in red block letters reads Rule of Law Is Equal to All
"Rule of Law Is Equal to All"
By Gabrielle Melendy
Grade 8, Willow Wood Junior High School, Tomball ISD

Third Place
An illustration in portrait orientation. The background is a waving American flag, with broken chains dangling from the top. In front of the flag, the Statue of Liberty rises from the bottom, facing left. A directional sign behind the statue reads Liberty, Equality, Rule of Law, and Rights. At the bottom of the illustration, in the foreground, are nine fists held up close together in varying skin tones.
"Standing Up for Equality"
By Shelby Morrison
Grade 8, Willow Wood Junior High School, Tomball ISD

Honorable Mentions

A landscape oriented illustration of the different clauses of the First Amendment, including praying hands, a megaphone, a bell, a hand with a pen, and a protest sign, all above the Supreme Court building. A banner reading 1st Amendment stretches across the bottom of the image.
By Jeremiah Aviles
Grade 8, Willow Wood Junior High School, Tomball ISD

A landscape oriented illustration reading Justice for All in black block letters, with gold scales of justice on the right and a speech bubble reading Speak Up! in the center. The poster includes portraits of the faces of victims of police, including Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Aura Rosser, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Elijah McClain. The portraits are labeled with the victims' names, occupations, and ages at the time of death. In the upper right corner is a paragraph describing the reasons and benefits for police reform.
By Esperance Bukenya
Grade 8, Fairmont Junior High School, Deer Park ISD

A landscape oriented poster on a white background, showing five rows of 10 identical houses. The top two rows are red and the bottom three are blue. The houses are labeled Take the Lines out so, and underneath the houses in block letters reads Every Vote Counts!
By Taylor Finley
Grade 7, The Wide School

A colorful illustrated horizontal poster. On the left, half a head faces the viewer with a wide-open eye. Covering its mouth is a trio of protest signs, and on its forehead is a sign that says USA Stand Together. On the right, a hand reaches out to the head. Above the hand is the gay pride flag, I Have a Dream in block letters, a pill labeled Drug Free State, and the gay and lesbian symbols. Yellow stars and red and blue polka dots fill the background.
By Elizabeth Gonzalez
Grade 8, Fairmont Junior High School, Deer Park ISD

A landscape oriented poster. The golden scales of justice are set over ocean waves. Cash and a crown weigh down the left scale, labeled Wealth and Power, dangling over broken icebergs, litter and a water tap. The planet Earth sits in the right scale, labeled Our World, above a desolate landscape filled with smoke and fire, as well as sea turtles.
By Hannah Horwath
Grade 8, Tanglewood Middle School, Houston ISD

A portrait oriented illustrated poster depicting a scene in front of the Capitol building. A banner around the top of the building reads Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere. A line of people with the American flag and Trump memorabilia stand in front of the building, beside a police officer and a gate. In front of this line are three Black Lives Matter protestors holding signs. In the foreground, a young black woman in a Black Lives Matter shirt holds up her hands in surrender, facing rightward at a male police officer. This officer has his arms crossed.
By Aaralyn Robinson
Grade 8, Tanglewood Middle School, Houston ISD

 

Special Needs Individual Poster Contest

First Place
An illustration in landscape orientation. The sky is purple and the yellow sun peeks in from the left. At the top are the words Laws Help Us. The scene depicts a courthouse in the center, in gray and brown, surrounded on both sides by teal blue structures with barred windows, reading Go to Jail.
By Alicia Pineda

Second Place
A landscape oriented illustration on a white background. Laws Help Us is written in large blue letters in the center. Around the words are the scales of justice, a house, a car, various traffic signs, and a sign prohibiting guns.
By Manny Medina

 

Special Needs Team Poster Contest

First Place (Tied)
A landscape oriented illustration with a red background. Words across the top read Laws Help Us. A figure dressed as a police officer smiles at the viewer, in front of a small building with a Police sign.
By Reily Teran, Jose Suarez, Juan Carizales, Juan Vasquez, and Matthew Moreno
MacArthur High School, Aldine ISD
Teacher: Eliot Chow
 

Second Place
An illustration in landscape orientation. The words Laws Help Us in colorful block letters float over a pale blue sky. Below depicts a road with a fire truck, a police car, and three private cars. The vehicles pass through a neighborhood with houses, a police station, a courthouse, and a fire station.
By Angel Olivera, Sabrina Tittle, Leslie Valadez, and Alyssa Celis

First Place (Tied)
A portrait oriented painting with a white background. A realistic dark-skinned hand rises from the middle, in the shape of a fist, with the American Flag draped behind it. The fist holds equally weighted golden scales of justice, each side filled with small human figures. Text at the top reads We the People in blue and red block letters. Text at the bottom reads Unity in blue and red block letters.
"Unity"
By Eric Ramirez, Connor Allen, Lisbeth Roque, Tyler Burrows and A. Arevelo
Pearland High School, Pearland ISD
Teacher: Stacey Sandoval
 

Third Place
A colorful landscape oriented montage of illustrations united by the theme Laws Help Us, written in the center. Scenes include a cityscape, a car stopped at a stop sign, and soldiers parachuting out of planes in front of a government building.
By Jesus Reboseno, Israel Salazar, and Abraham Banda

 

Contest Judges

Essay Contest
Judge Janice Berg
Justice Frances Bourliot
Judge Lesley Briones
Justice April Farris
Justice Kem Frost
Judge Tanya Garrison
Judge Ursula Hall
Judge Kristen Hawkins
Judge Tonya Jones
Judge Gloria Lopez
Judge Jason Luong
Judge Beau Miller
Judge Latosha Lewis Payne
Justice Meg Poissant
Judge Lauren Reeder
Judge Robert Shaffer
Judge Chuck Silverman
Judge Jerry Simoneaux
Judge Christine Weems
Judge LaShawn Williams

Photography and Poster Contests
Andrea Beall
Jillian Beck
Adan Briones
Justice Frances Bourliot
Justice Kem Frost
Joseph Lawson
Karen Lukin
Judge Erin Lunceford
Amanda McLeroy
Austin Muck
Jeff Matovich
Mariann Sears
Charles Shaw
Bonnie Simmons
Napoleon Stewart
Rachel Stinson
Mylinh Tran
Erica Winsor

 

Contest Prize Sponsors

Photography Contest
Griffith and Hughes PLLC

Poster Contests
Mariann Sears
The Hon. Daryl Moore
Ahmad Zavitsanos Anaipakos Alavi and Mensing PC

Special Needs Contest
Anonymous

HBA Law Day Contest prize sponsorship opportunities are still open. You can sponsor online! Click here for details.

 

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Contact Bonnie Simmons at bonnies@hba.org with any questions regarding the HBA’s Law Week activities. Click here to learn more about the HBA Law Week Committee.