News & Announcements

Fourth Circuit High School Essay Contest - Deadline June 16, 2017

June 08, 2017

Essay Contest - Access to Justice

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is pleased to announce an essay contest for high school students in the five states within the circuit. The contest offers students an opportunity to learn about the Constitution and Bill of Rights and a chance to win cash prizes.

The theme, Access to Justice, asks students to consider and share their thoughts on the question:  "What does access to justice mean to you and how do the Constitution and Bill of Rights enable this access?"

The essay contest is open to high school students (currently in grades 9 through 12) in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Essays are limited to 1,000 words and must be emailed by June 16, 2017 to

Cash prizes of $2,000 (first place), $1,500 (second place), and $1,000 (third place) will be awarded for the top three essays.

In announcing the contest, the Honorable Roger L. Gregory, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, stated, "As long as we remain focused on promoting young citizens' understanding of the Constitution, it will remain a powerful instrument for ensuring the stability of our government and the liberty of the governed."

For more information, contest rules, and entry form, visit