AUGUSTA — Maine students in grades four through 12 are invited to submit entries for this year’s Law Day contests sponsored by the Maine State Bar Association. The theme is “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.”

Students in grades four through eight may participate in the art poster contest, and students in grades nine through 12 may participate in the essay contest. The entry deadline is May 15.

This year’s theme explores the cornerstones of representative government and calls on us to understand and protect these rights to ensure, as the U.S. Constitution proposes, “the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.”

In the United States and around the world, freedom of speech and the press are among the most important foundations for a free society. Law Day 2019 offers the opportunity to explore this pair of freedoms by probing their history and considering their future.

Should all speech be “free?” What is the role of government in regulating or protecting the press? Should speech or the press be constrained through laws or norms? Can a free society exist without free speech and free press?

The art poster contest has cash prizes of $50 each for the student and her or his teacher in two grade categories: 4-5 and 6-8. The essay contest has a $75 first-place cash prize for both the student and teacher, and a $50 second-place cash prize for both the student and teacher. Winning essays and posters will be published online and in the Maine Bar Journal.

Law Day was established in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law.

For information about Law Day or to download the Law Day contest brochures, visit

The Maine State Bar Association is a professional and public service organization of nearly 3,000 member lawyers licensed to practice in Maine. The Association works to promote its members’ professionalism and advance their skills and knowledge, helping them meet the legal needs of all Maine people, and to advance Maine’s system of justice. In its programs and services for both lawyers and laypeople, the Association is guided by the three pillars of its mission: liberty, equality, and justice.

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