Law Day essay contest focuses on state’s Royal Charter


The Rhode Island Bar Association and the Rhode Island Judiciary, with support from Roger Williams University School of Law, Rhode Island Department of Education and the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, are sponsoring the annual 2013 Hon. Francis J. Darigan Jr. Rhode Island Law Day Essay Contest, open to all Rhode Island students attending the 10th and 11th grade.

2013 marks the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island’s Royal Charter, a historic document recognizing and establishing certain freedoms for Rhode Islanders long before these were officially acknowledged in the American Colonies. This document was the foundation for the colony’s, and later the state’s, government, defining the executive and legislative branches, and providing exceptional religious and civil rights to Rhode Islanders. The Royal Charter guided Rhode Island’s government for 180 years until the adoption of the Rhode Island Constitution in 1842, which borrowed heavily from the Charter’s original language.

For the 2013 Law Day Essay Contest, using specific examples from the present and recent past, in no more than 800 words, students must discuss how the Royal Charter’s language, and its subsequent incorporation in the Rhode Island Constitution, directly affects Rhode Islanders today.

Through the generosity of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association and the Rhode Island Bar Association, the winning essay author will receive a $1,000 Scholastic Award, and an engraved trophy cup. The winner’s school receives a permanent plaque and the annual Law Day Essay Award Trophy to display until the next Contest. Entry forms, guidelines and information are available on the Bar’s website at under: For the Public – Law Related Education – 2013 Rhode Island Law Day Information.

All entries must be received at the Rhode Island Bar Association no later than Friday, May 10 at 3 p.m. Please direct any questions concerning the 2013 Hon. Francis J. Darigan Jr. Rhode Island Law Day Essay Contest to: Frederick D. Massie, Director of Communications, or Allison Baker, LRE Coordinator, Rhode Island Bar Association: telephone: 421-5740 e-mail:, e-mail:


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