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Essay Contest

Entries Due February 22, 2021

The Connecticut Bar Foundation is pleased to announce the 21st Annual James W. Cooper Fellows Quintin Johnstone Essay Contest. The contest is open to all Connecticut students under the age of 21 who are enrolled in grades 9-12, or their equivalent, at an accredited high school, vocational-technical school or adult high school credit diploma program located within the State of Connecticut. The contest is also open to all Connecticut homeschooled students in grades equivalent to 9-12. See below for complete Contest Rules.

2018-2019 Essay Contest Award Winners: (l-r) Rachel Coppinger of Simsbury High School, Thomas Holtz of Fairfield Ludlowe High School, Hannah Sroka of Portland High School


          Grand Prize - $2000

          Two Runner-Up Prizes - $1000

          Award Ceremony held at the Connecticut Supreme Court in late spring.


           Essays judged by Federal and State Court Judges, Law Professors, and Lawyers



  1. The student and parent/guardian must complete the Student & Parent Release Form. If the student is 18 years of age or older, the parent portion of the form does not need to be completed. 
  2. The teacher/counselor will submit the Student & Parent Release Form and the Student's Essay online below. Both must be submitted together by February 22, 2021, for the essay to qualify for the contest. 

If you have any questions, please email



2018-2019 Essay Contest Award Ceremony at the Supreme Court: (l-r) Natalie S. Wagner, Executive Director, Connecticut Bar Foundation; Dan Schwartz, Chair, James W. Cooper Fellows; Thomas Holtz, statewide winner; Honorable Christine Vertefeuille, Senior Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court; Rachel Coppinger, runner-up; Hannah Sroka, runner-up; Rob Harris, Chair, Essay Contest Committee

Past Essay Contests