Two Missouri Students Win Cardinals Tickets for Judges-Umpires of the Law Essays

Ladue Horton Watkins High School 11th grade student Alexander Rakov and Rockbridge High School 10th grade student Jaden Hoelscher won the recent Law Day Essay Contest sponsored by The Missouri Bar Citizenship Education Program.

Rakov and Hoelscher were presented their award certificates and prizes – tickets to attend a baseball game with their parents – at the St. Louis Old Courthouse on Law Day, May 1, 2015. The baseball game was between St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:15 p.m. on May 1 in St. Louis.

The essay contest is designed for Missouri school students in grades 6-12. The essay theme is “Fair and Impartial Courts,” commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan, commonly called the Missouri Plan. Participating students were asked to depict how the role of judges in the courtroom can be compared to the role of umpires or referees at a ballgame and how the Missouri Plan for the selection of judges promotes this role.

“The Missouri Plan supports fairness and impartiality by ensuring that judges are not influenced by those who helped them obtain their position,” Rakov wrote. “The plan guarantees the best judicial system possible. Just as umpires can be removed for making too many incorrect calls, judges too are held to the highest standards. The plan makes it so that only judges with integrity and skills are able to remain in their positions.”

Hoelscher wrote in his essay, “Impartiality plays a salient role in how our court system operates. Without it our system would fail to provide justice that furnishes the foundation of a democracy.”

The contest encourages students to express themselves while also allowing them the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the importance of a fair and impartial judicial system.

“The Missouri Bar is pleased  to honor these two students whose understanding of Missouri’s court system bodes well for Missouri’s future leaders.  I wish every Missourian possessed this same keen understanding,”  said Millie Aulbur, director of The Missouri Bar Citizenship Education Program.


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Rockbridge High School 10th grade student Jaden Hoelscher in front of Busch Stadium on Law day, May 1, 2015. Rockbridge High School 10th grade student Jaden Hoelscher at a St. Louis Cardinals game on Law Day, May 1, 2015. The tickets to the game were prizes for winning the 2015 Missouri Bar Law Day Essay Contest.


Law Day, May 1, is a national day set aside annually to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Thousands of Law Day activities and resources are available for youth and adults across the country. Find Law Day events, news, history and more on the Law Day website,

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