The State Bar announced the winners of the annual Law Day editorial, photography, and poster contests this month.

Each year, Law Day is celebrated nationally on May 1 to honor the rule of law and underscore how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. The State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association celebrate the importance of law and its impact on our nation and local communities by hosting the statewide editorial, photo, and poster contests based on the American Bar Association Law Day yearly theme. Local bars and young lawyer affiliates are encouraged to hold local contests and submit their first-place winners in each category to the State Bar for the statewide contest.

This year’s theme “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom,” encouraged students to reflect on why the separation of powers is fundamental to preserving freedom. The State Bar contest winners, who based their work on the theme, will be recognized at the Texas Law Center May 1.

Here is an excerpt from the editorial of first-place winner, Caroline Knauth of West Brook High School in Beaumont, representing the Jefferson County Bar Association:

Balanced Ballads

By Caroline Knauth

For music to sound correct and create the perfect harmony, there must be a blend and balance of multiple different crescendos and decrescendos. If one note is given all of the power and overpowers the rest, the musical piece will most likely end up sounding like a train horn. Beethoven’s use of many different keys and notes created balanced and beautiful pieces that are still celebrated and listened to today. If he played the same note over and over again without the help of any others, people wouldn’t know him as the musical genius that he was. Just as balance is critical while playing instruments, it also plays an immense part within the American government. The Founding Fathers implemented the separation of powers into the government to govern the balance between the three branches of government ensuring that no branch has so much power that it suppresses the others. This system preserves the liberty and freedom that is granted to every American, keeping the authority from being in one section of the government.

Peruse the rest of Knauth’s editorial, the other winning entries, and the top photographs and posters at