Law Day 2018: Poster & Essay Contest Winners


Area wide 8th graders were invited to compete in the annual Omaha Bar Association’s Law Day Essay Contest. OLPA (Omaha Legal Professionals Association) served as liaison with the Omaha Bar Association and received essays from students from Gretna Middle School and St. Pius/St. Leo Catholic School.

Hon. Lyle E. Strom, retired Senior United States District Judge for the District of Nebraska; Jason Grams, attorney at Lamson, Dugan & Murray; and Rebecca Kratky, sixth grade teacher at Oakdale Elementary School, served as judges.

All three winners (pictured above) are 8th graders in Greg Gorski’s history class at St. Pius/St. Leo Catholic School in Omaha. Gorski has been teaching for 4 years at St. Pius/St. Leo after 26 years as a practicing attorney in Omaha. Two of his students were winners in last year’s competition.

Cash prizes of $150, $125 and $100 will be awarded to the winners at the Law Day luncheon.


First Place – Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom
By Gigi Salerno

When drafting the Constitution, our Founding Fathers devised a system based not on efficiency, but on the concept of freedom. To accomplish this, they created a structure of separate powers, in which each branch could check another, confirming that one could never become more powerful than the other. The Founding Fathers separated the powers of the federal government into three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.

Over two hundred years later, the system meticulously organized by the Founding Fathers is still in place. The constitutional design for the separation of powers continues to successfully fulfill its original intent: preventing the abuse of power and protecting individual rights. Each branch can place a check on the other, confirming a balance of power. The government relies on each of these branches, and could not operate without all three. These checks ensure that, through the balance of power, no rights can be taken away from us. This system was designed for the people, with the people, and by the people. We must remain active in the government to ensure that our freedoms remain. Our voices are heard through these branches, and the checks are in place to ensure this prevails.

John Adams wrote that “Power must never be trusted without a check.” Without a check on the federal government, our leaders could become tyrannous and eliminate most of our fundamental rights. Because of the separation of power, however, our power will never be without a check, ensuring that citizens will always have a voice.


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