At Burg Simpson, we recognize the importance of access to a good education. In 2012, we launched the Burg Simpson Scholarship Competition. Each year we encourage Colorado high school seniors from across the state to write a 1,500 word essay about the importance of the civil jury system as the guardian of American rights and liberties.
Partnering with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) over the past 4 years, we have awarded $44,500 in scholarships to college-bound students.
The Jury System as the Protector of Rights
In an effort to teach the next generation about the importance of the civil jury system, the law firm of Burg Simpson is sponsoring our fifth annual essay competition for high school seniors. Write an original essay of 1,500 words or less that describes:
- How the civil jury system in the United States is being threatened;
- How the civil jury system protects your rights as a citizen; and
- The importance of preserving the civil jury system for future generations.
Did You Know?
Civil and criminal law are two separate legal systems with different rules, laws and standards. Essay submissions about the criminal justice system will not be considered. Not sure what the difference is between the civil justice system and the criminal justice system? Start Here.
One scholarship of $2,500 and nine scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to graduating seniors to attend the college of their choice. All 10 winners, their families, and a teacher of their choice will be invited to a dinner held in their honor. Winners will also appear at center court during half-time of the Colorado State Boys Basketball Championship game at the Coors Event Center in Boulder, Colorado on March 11, 2017.
Any graduating high school senior enrolled in a Colorado accredited school can enter.
- Applications Due: February 3, 2017
- Winners Notified: February 20, 2017
- Basketball Game: March 11, 2017
- Scholarship Dinner: April 2017 (Date TBD)
- Essay submissions for the 2016-2017 contest will be accepted starting August 15, 2016. The contest deadline is Friday, February 3, 2017.
- Essays can be submitted two ways:
- Complete the form on this page, and attach your essay.
- Mail to:
Burg Simpson Essay Competition
40 Inverness Drive East
Englewood, Colorado 80112
If mailed, students must complete and submit an application form with their essay, available here or by calling Corey Wheeland at (303) 792-5595.
- Electronic submissions using the entry form must be submitted by 11:59 PM MST on Friday, February 3rd, 2017.
- Essays submitted by mail must be postmarked or received no later than Friday, February 3rd, 2017. Any submission postmarked after Friday, February 3rd, 2017 will not be accepted.
- Winning selections will be notified on or around February 20, 2017.
- All essays submitted become the property of Burg Simpson.
- The decisions of the Burg Simpson selection board are final.
- By entering any subsequent prize, winners agree to allow Burg Simpson the right to publish the entrant’s name, photograph images, all personal and other information (including general locations) for the purpose of Burg Simpson and the competition’s publicity, promotion, and news (including use in broadcast media, printed publications, editorial and PR activities, and online).
- Essays must be the original work of the student. All sources used must be properly cited and included in the bibliography.
- Essays cannot be more than 1,500 words. Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count.
- Students must include a properly formatted bibliography and use in-text citations for references. Consult your teachers for assistance.
- Students must use a minimum of four (4) sources. Sources include, but are not limited to: books, magazines, periodicals, news articles, internet, or primary source material.
- Content (70%)
- Addresses the topic by showing a demonstrated understanding of the threats to the jury system, and the importance of preserving the jury system for future generations.
- Uses critical analysis to address the topic.
- Thoughtful, original choice for essay topic.
- Well-researched. At least four (4) sources properly cited with in-text citations and bibliography.
- Convincing arguments supported with specific examples.
- Presentation (30%)
- Communicates ideas clearly.
- Correct syntax, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Written in a compelling and original manner.
- Bibliography of four or more varied sources. Non-internet sources are highly recommended.
- Thoughtfully selected, reliable sources.
- The Burg Simpson essay competition is not open to employees of the firm or their family members.
- The decision of the judges is FINAL and is not subject to review.
- The prize is exclusively for the winner and is neither transferable nor exchangeable.
- The date of the CHSAA tournament is subject to change.
Below are a list of recommended resources to begin your research.
- The Case for the Civil Jury; Safeguarding a Pillar of Democracy
- What Will We Lose If the Trial Vanishes?
- Fact Sheet: Safeguarding a Pillar of American Freedom - An Historical Primer on the Right to Jury Trial in Civil Cases
- The Fundamental Nature of Juries
- Mandatory Binding Arbitration: Civil Injustice By Corporate America