Submitted to the Optic
The State Bar of New Mexico hosts an annual essay contest in which students write a legal brief based on a fictitious case with state laws and school policy procedures for students to incorporate into the essay.
This year, the Bar received 107 essays from throughout the state. Jamie Lee Mathis, a West Las Vegas High School Senior, won third place (worth $250). In addition, Renee Alvino, a senior, Sarah Gallegos, Karla Gallegos, and Christopher Yee, juniors, placed in the top 25; Patrick Lopez, a junior, placed in the top seven.
According to the State Bar, “the performance of our students is impressive.” The State Bar states of Mrs. Carmen Baca and her students, “We commend you and your students for their hard work and special effort, and we encourage you to participate again next year.”
In 2007, Vera Jo Bustos, who was a West Las Vegas senior, took second place (worth $200), and Arcenio Garcia and Amanda Medina earned honorable mention.
Mrs. Baca and her students would like to send a special note of appreciation to Mrs. Oneida Lesperance and Judge Gene Mathis for taking the time to instruct the students in the process of writing legal briefs and for discussing the cases with the students prior to the writing. Their interest in our students is to be commended.