Spartanburg High School student wins award for essay

January 24, 2012 by  

Eva Hoffman, a student from Spartanburg High School, was awarded at the South Carolina Bar Association’s annual meeting on Friday January 20 for her essay on the fundamental right to counsel as part of the 2011 Law Day sponsored by the Senior Lawyers Division of the South Carolina Bar Association. The essay contest was started three years ago at the local level by Circuit Court Judge Mark Hayes to encourage students to develop an interest in the constitution and the rights that it affords United States citizens. This was the first year that the Bar Association decided to open the essay contest to all students in the state and used printing services to print flyers and brochures to distribute to schools regarding the topic of the essay for the year and the rules of the contest.

Hoffman was presented with a medal, a certificate, and a $1,000 cash prize for her essay entitled “The legacy of John Adams, From Boston to Guantanamo” based on the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution which provides the right to counsel. Hoffman said that having legal defense maintains the balance of power in the courts so that states are prevented from becoming an overbearing force in the legal system. She was recognized at the Plenary Luncheon the State of the Judiciary speech was presented by Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal.

The annual theme for Law Day is selected by the American Bar association and Hayes and his law clerk work together to create a topic based on the theme. About 70 entries were submitted this year and Hayes commented that the quality of the essays was extremely high.