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Law Day Art Contest 2015: Fair and Impartial Courts

Sponsored by The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section

The Missouri Non Partisan Court PlanClick here to see the winners of the 2015 Law Day Art Contest.

For Law Day, May 1, 2015, The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section is sponsoring an art contest for Missouri elementary school students. The theme for Law Day 2015 is “Fair and Impartial Courts,” commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan, commonly called the Missouri Plan.

The Missouri Plan has served as a national model for the selection of judges and has been adopted in more than 30 states. The merit-based system, adopted by Missouri voters in 1940, helps ensure a fair and impartial justice system by keeping politics and money out of our courts. All Missouri judges are subject to voter approval by election each new term, though their initial selection varies. The Missouri Plan governs selection and retention of judges on the Supreme Court of Missouri, the Missouri Court of Appeals, the City of St. Louis and Clay, Greene, Jackson, Platte and St. Louis counties. In all other circuits, judges run for their seat on the bench in partisan elections, which work well in communities where voters know the candidates and little money is needed to run campaigns.

Related links:

Judges are like umpires or referees

The role of judges in the courtroom can be compared to the role of umpires or referees at a ballgame. When we play sports, we want the umpire or the referee to come to the game without favoring one side over the other, just like we want the judge to only consider the facts and the rule of law in any cases before the court.

As U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has remarked during his nomination hearings, “Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”

For additional inspiration, check out these Missouri Bar videos about the Missouri Plan.


How to enter

In celebration of Law Day, The Missouri Bar encourages educators, parents and others to have students participate in this fun, educational contest. All Missouri schools are encouraged to dive into the theme and discover our common heritage of justice under the rule of law. Winners will receive awards and prizes!

Here are the details:

The art contest has two divisions, Kindergarten-Grade 2 and Grades 3-5. All mediums of art will be accepted including pencil drawings, water colors, oil paints, pen and ink, etc. Entries should be no smaller than 8” x 10” and no larger than a standard poster board.

  • Entries must be received by February 28, 2015.
  • Please include the entry form on the back of the entry. (Download the entry form here [PDF].)
  • Entries are limited to one per student in each contest.
  • Entries will not be returned unless requested prior.

All teachers who have their classes participate in the art contest will be entered into a drawing for gift certificates.

All entries will be judged based on originality and interpretation of the theme. Winners will be announced before May 1, 2015, with winning entries posted on The Missouri Bar’s website. Winning entries also will receive a certificate and be recognized at a Missouri Bar event in the spring.

Mail art entries to:

FedEx or UPS
Law Day Poster Contest
c/o Millie Aulbur, The Missouri Bar
326 Monroe
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Law Day Poster Contest
c/o Millie Aulbur, The Missouri Bar
PO Box 119
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Questions should be directed to Millie Aulbur, Director of Citizenship Education for The Missouri Bar, at milliea@mobar.org.


Past Law Day Art Contests

2014 Law Day Art Contest

2013 Law Day Art Contest

Law Day Essay Contest

The Law Day Essay Contest is a project of the Missouri National Education Association Public Relations Committee and the Missouri Bar Young Lawyers Section. More information on this contest for middle and high school students can be found on the MNEA website.

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