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 Federal Courts Sponsor Civics Contest for Students in Greater San Diego Area

​​​A civics contest organized by the federal courts offers high school students in the greater San Diego area, including Imperial County, a chance to win cash prizes and meet with some of the nation’s preeminent jurists and legal practitioners.

“Our Constitution: What the American Dream Means to Me” is an essay and video competition open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in public, private and parochial schools or to home-schooled students of equivalent status. Individual students can compete in the essay contest, while individuals and teams of up to three students can enter the video contest. 

The contest is sponsored by the United States District Court for the Southern District of California and the Courts and Community Committee of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, governing body for federal courts in the western states. Student winners will be invited to the opening session of the 2015 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, a major gathering of the federal bench and bar to be held July 13-15, 2015, in San Diego.

“Civics education really begins with the Constitution,” said the Honorable Janis L. Sammartino, a U.S. district judge in San Diego who chairs the Courts and Community Committee. “The contest will uniquely add to the student’s knowledge and understanding of the basis of our democracy.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to three winners in each category of the competition. First-place winners will receive $2,000, second-place $1,000 and third-place $500. The prize money is being donated by law firms and individual attorneys.

For more information, contact Kathleen Walford, coordinator of community outreach programs for the federal court in San Diego, at 619-557-6627 or via email​.​