Law day committee

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Dear Educator:
Our annual Law Day celebration is almost here! As you may know, every year the Polk County Bar Association (PCBA) and ARAG sponsor educational activities and a competition for your students in honor of national Law Day. This is an opportunity for your students to showcase their creative talents, learn about important issues relating to the law, and win prizes! This year’s competition will include visual arts, music and performing arts, essay, technology, and poetry categories for sixth through twelfth grade students in Polk County. You will also have a chance to win a prize based on best classroom participation, so consider getting your students involved today!
What is Law Day?

Law Day is recognized annually on May 1 as a national day of celebration aimed to strengthen the American heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under the law. Each year the American Bar Association chooses a theme for Law Day to help foster education and a deeper understanding of the legal system. This year’s theme, Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom, enables us to reflect on the interplay of our government’s three distinct and independent branches of government set out in the U.S. Constitution – Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court.

Learn more about Law Day and this year’s theme.
Why Should Your Students Participate?

  • Your students learn more about the law and our legal system.

  • Curriculum opportunity for you –

    • we would be happy to come out and talk to your students about Law Day and the theme.

  • Fun competition with great prizes valued up to $100!

  • Opportunity for your students to meet judges and attorneys in Polk County.

  • All entries will be displayed on the PCBA website.

  • If you get the most students to participate, you could also win a prize for your classroom!

How is the Competition Judged?

  • Judges will be looking for creative expression that demonstrates understanding of the theme and its main concepts – the expression can be curious, critical, serious, or humorous.

  • Entries are judged by attorneys and judges in Polk County.

  • The entries will be judged in two classes: (1) Grades 6, 7, and 8; and (2) Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12. Each category will be evaluated separately.

Winners will be honored at the PCBA and ARAG Law Day Awards Celebration on May 1, 2018. We will notify you of the winners and provide more information about the celebration at that time.

What Are the Types of Entries?

  • Visual Arts entries must include:

    • A title, and

    • Short description of how the entry relates to the theme.

    • Visual Arts may be submitted in the form of any original two or three-dimensional medium, including painting, sculpture, graphic design and photography.

  • Poetry entries

    • May be in the form of any traditionally recognized form: epic, blank verse, sonnets, haiku, etc.

    • Consider use of figurative language, imagery, pun, oxymoron, and personification.

    • One page limit.

  • Music and Performing Arts may be:

    • In the form of:

      • An original musical composition recorded in the following playable formats: YouTube or Windows Media Player. YouTube is preferred; OR

      • An original video production, such as a documentary or original drama recorded in the following formats: YouTube or Windows Media Player. YouTube is preferred.

    • Your entry may be shorter than 3 minutes in length, but should not be longer than 3 minutes.

    • Your composition or production may be created individually or as a group.

    • All video and audio entries must be submitted on CD, DVD, or flash drive and playable on YouTube or Windows Media Player.

  • Essay entries

    • All essays should be between 200 and 500 words and either typed or hand written with standard formatting.

  • Technology entries must include:

    • A title, and

    • Short description of how the entry relates to the theme.

    • You entry may be shorter than 5 minutes in length, but should not be longer than 5 minutes.

    • Any video and audio entries must be submitted on CD, DVD, or flash drive and playable on YouTube or Windows Media Player.

What Else Do We Need to Know About the Competition?

  • All entries must reflect the student’s view or understanding of the theme.

  • All entries must include a completed entry form and release of liability form below.

    • Each entry must be signed by the student.

    • A parent, guardian or teacher must also sign the entry form.

  • Deadline for all entries is March 30, 2018.

    • Entries may be emailed to or mailed to/dropped off at the Polk County Bar Association, 625 E Court Ave Ste 100, Des Moines, IA 50309.

    • We will be happy to pick up entries as well, just email us to arrange a pick up time.

  • Teachers may submit all of their students’ entries together.


Email or

Contact Shanon Hounshell at 614-361-4232 or Nicolle Schippers at 515-237-0270.

Thanks for your time! We look forward to talking with you soon about this opportunity.


Shanon Hounshell and Nicolle Schippers, PCBA Law Day Committee Co-Chairs

Kala Anderson, ARAG Law Day Committee Member

About Polk County Bar Association: The Polk County Bar Association is the largest local bar association in the state of Iowa. We provide continuing legal education, social and networking opportunities to our members. We are a non-profit, volunteer organization working to serve and improve the legal and judicial system while providing public service to the community.
About ARAG: ARAG ® ( provides affordable legal solutions through trusted service to help people protect what matters most. ARAG’s North American headquarters are based in Des Moines, Iowa. We are committed to providing our customers a choice of legal solutions to help them live a life full of opportunities. For more news and information about ARAG, visit



First and Last Name (Please Print or Type)


Grade Level Competition Category School


Home Address (Street, City, State and Zip Code)


Home Telephone Number E-mail Address

I, _________________________________________ (print name), agree to allow the Polk County Bar Association and ARAG’s Law Day Committee to use and display my artwork, music, video, essay or poetry entry wherever, whenever and however it sees fit to do so, including, but not limited to, display in various public places in and around Polk County and publication in a newsletter or other printed or electronic medium. I release the Polk County Bar Association and ARAG, along with its officers, employees, agents, volunteers or others associated with this competition, from and against any liability for any damages that may occur in connection with this competition.

Signature of Student Entrant: ______________________________­­______________________________

I agree and consent to the above.
Signature of Parent or Guardian: _________________________________________________________

I/We certify that this entry is the original work created by:


(Name of Student)


(Student’s Signature)


(Signature of Teacher, Parent or Guardian)


Name of Teacher, Parent or Guardian (Please Print or Type)


Teacher’s Telephone number Teacher’s E-mail Address


Parent’s/Guardian’s Telephone Number Parent’s/Guardian’s E-mail Address

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