April 24, 2018
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706

State Bar to present Law Day awards to Texas students

AUSTIN — Students from across the state will be recognized as part of the 2018 Law Day contest, an annual competition hosted by the State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) that invites students to submit essays, photographs, and posters that celebrate the rule of law.

State Bar President Tom Vick and TYLA President Baili Rhodes will present the awards at the Texas Law Center. The winners were honored by their local bar associations before advancing to the statewide competition.

This year’s national Law Day theme is Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom. The U.S. Constitution sets out a system of government with distinct and independent branches—legislative, executive, and judicial. The branches share power and serve as an important check on each other. Together they provide a framework for liberty where no one person or group of people controls all the powers of the government. The Law Day 2018 theme enabled the students to reflect on the separation of powers as fundamental to our constitutional purpose.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day in 1958 to challenge Americans to understand how the rule of law impacts their lives, and to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in a democracy.

The contest winners, their schools, and the organizations that nominated them appear below.

Note: Photos of the winning poster and photography entries are available upon request.

Editorial Contest
First Place: Caroline Knauth, West Brook High School, Beaumont (Jefferson County Bar Association)
Second Place: Jenna Leihgeber, Whitehouse High School, Tyler (Smith County Bar Association)
Third Place: Joshua Legg, Homeschool, Round Rock (Williamson County Bar Association)

Photography Contest
First Place: Monserat Perez, Sam Tasby Middle School, Dallas (Dallas Bar Association)
Second Place: Elisabeth Miller, Gregory Portland Junior High, Portland (Corpus Christi Bar Association)
Third Place: Gabriela P. Garcia, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, San Antonio (Bexar County Women’s Bar Association)

Poster Contest — Kindergarten to Second Grade
First Place: Loric Pham, Charlton-Pollard Elementary, Lumberton (Jefferson County Bar Association)
Second Place: Ekaterina Miller, East Cliff Elementary, Portland (Corpus Christi Bar Association)
Third Place: Arlett Guzman, Meador Elementary, Pasadena (Houston Bar Association)

Poster Contest — Third to Fifth Grade
First Place: Victoria Shaw, Montclair Elementary, Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi Bar Association)
Second Place: Misaki Murase, Cornerstone Elementary School, Sugar Land (Houston Bar Association)
Third Place: Daegan Sowell, Groves Elementary, Groves (Jefferson County Bar Association)

Poster Contest — Sixth to Eighth Grade
First Place: Destiny Flores, Willow Wood Junior High, Tomball (Houston Bar Association)
Second Place: Olivia Owens, Veritas Classical Academy, Lumberton (Jefferson County Bar Association)
Third Place: Faith Cooper, Cedar Valley Middle School, Cedar Park (Austin Bar Association)

Poster Contest — Ninth to 12th Grade
First Place: Ashton Goebel, Hardin-Jefferson High School, Beaumont (Jefferson County Bar Association)
Second Place: Alison Duncan, Incarnate Word Academy, Portland (Corpus Christi Bar Association)
Third Place: Kristina Hoskins, Shema Homeschool, Jonestown (Williamson County Bar Association)

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The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at, or visit

The Texas Young Lawyers Association, organized in 1930, is commonly referred to as the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas. TYLA’s primary purposes are to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All licensed Texas lawyers 36 years old or younger or in their first five years of practice, regardless of age, are automatically members of TYLA. For more information, visit

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