Essay Contest



The Connecticut Bar Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the Nineteenth Annual James W. Cooper Fellows Quintin Johnstone Essay Contest.  The 2018-2019 topic was “Jumping the Gun – Preventing School Violence”.  As in past years, this year’s topic was chosen for its special relevance to students of high school age. 

The Essay Contest Award Ceremony where the 
winners will be presented with their awards will be held on
June 4, 2019 at the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Please contact ctbf [at] cbf-1 [dot] org if you would like to attend.


Essay Contest Award Winners


 Statewide Winner - $2,000
Thomas Holtz
Fairfield Ludlowe High School


Runner-up - $1,000
Hannah Sroka
Portland High School


Runner-up - $1,000
Rachel Coppinger
Simsbury High School


To access the winning essays, click on the name of each winner.


Essay submissions are judged on content/originality, organization, use of resource materials and writing. The Connecticut Bar Foundation and the James W. Cooper Fellows do not represent or endorse the accuracy or the reliability of any of the information, content, sources, or statements contained in any student essay contest entry in the Connecticut Bar Foundation James W. Cooper Fellows Quintin Johnstone 2018-2019 Statewide High School Essay Contest.

Essay Contest Topic  
Jumping the Gun – Preventing School Violence


This years’ topic dealt with two student brothers, one a popular jock, and one a social outcast who are seen on a viral video at a shooting at gun range.  The school gets word of the video and decides that the video shows that the social outcast brother is a threat and suspends him.  The popular brother is not suspended, despite participating in the same activity.  Entries were to be around 1000 words and were to support their position on this issue.  Click here to see the full topic prompt.


Click here to view the 2017-2018 contest winners.

Click here to view the 2016-2017 contest winners.  Click here to view pictures from the 2016-2017 Award Ceremony.

Click here to view the 2015-2016 contest winners.

Click here to view the 2014-2015 contest winners.

Click here to view the 2013-2014 contest winners.

Click here to view the 2012-2013 contest winners.