ABA Journal

Ross Essay Contest

Read 10 Law-Inspired Haiku, Contest Winners Announced

By Molly McDonough

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Corrected: The ABA Journal is pleased to announce that the Ross Essay Contest selection committee has chosen 10 winners in this year’s legal haiku challenge.

Editors sifted through nearly 450 submissions by ABA members, who were asked to submit up to five law-inspired haiku in the categories of Innovation, Inspiration, Law Practice, On Being a Lawyer or the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the 1930s, Judge Erskine Ross of Los Angeles bequeathed $100,000 to the ABA to fund “a prize for the best discussion of a subject.” That evolved into the Ross Essay Contest, which the Journal has administered in various forms for more than two decades.

Congratulations to the 10 winners this year and their discussion of law in haiku. Each winner will receive $500.

A precedent made
May, like a mountain, endure
Or vanish like dew.
—Edward Hess, Lansing, Mich.

Palsgraf was injured
When explosion made scales fall
—Marcus Brisson, Dayville, Conn.

Pass the bar exam
Setting out to change the world
Debt crushes the dream
—Melissa Jones, Gaithersburg, Md.

Engineers at heart
Lawyers build cases with facts
Arguments with words
—Kathryn Walter, Lake Oswego, Ore.

Team of nine black robes
Making the law crystal clear:
5 to 4. Say what?
—James Cox, Scotts Valley, Calif.

First-year attorney
Dreams of SCOTUS victory
Stuck on doc review
—Meehan Rasch, Los Angeles, Calif.

recent graduate
summa cum laude and still
home and unemployed
—Anthony Andricks, Lakewood, Ohio

Remember? Wanting
to change the world? Help others?
Wake up. You still can.
—Kimberly DelMonico, Las Vegas, Nev.

Practice makes perfect?
Why, after practicing YEARS,
Am I not perfect?
—Alice Murray, Shalimar, Fla.

Thank you! Thank you sir!
You saved me and my business!
The sweetest words heard.
—Anthony Monioudis, Danville, Va.

Last updated at 9:30 p.m. Friday to correctly identify haiku winner Edward Hess.

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