BANGOR — A freshman from Highview Christian Academy and a senior from Brewer High School have taken top honors in the 2021 Law Day Essay and Art Contest sponsored annually by the Penobscot County Bar Association. Hon. Andrew Mead, acting chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, announced the winners by video message today, Friday, April 30.

Cornelia Baciu, a freshman from Highview Christian Academy, won the essay division. Zoey Rackler, a senior from Brewer High School, won the art division. This year’s theme, “Advancing the Rule of Law Now,” invited students to consider the principle that all individuals and institutions are accountable to the law.

Baciu’s winning essay explored the application of the rule of law in the context of women’s rights and systemic racism. Rackler’s winning painting depicted lions attacking prey on the steps of the Capitol. Second-place winners were Grace Goodwin, a Brewer High School junior, for her essay entitled, “Combating the Deterioration of Law,” and Celia Buetens, an Orono High School junior, for her illustrated interpretation of the scales of justice.

Baciu and Rackler will receive $500 cash prizes from the PCBA for their submissions, and Goodwin and Buetens will receive $250 each. The PCBA awarded honorable mentions to essayist Hannah Reed, a Brewer High School sophomore, and artist Olga Baciu, a Highview Christian Academy junior, for their entries.

Each year, the PCBA invites students from high schools in Penobscot County and home-schooled students within the county to submit essays and artwork on a theme chosen by the American Bar Association for contests held nationwide in commemoration of Law Day, observed May 1st, celebrates the role of law in our society and aims to cultivate a deeper appreciation of the legal profession.

The Penobscot County Bar Association was founded in 1904 as a means of bridging the gap between Penobscot County’s legal community and the community at large. The association has been integral in establishing what is widely considered one of the most cordial and communal bars in the state.

The organization donates time, money, and resources to charitable and educational causes within the county. It provides continuing education to the legal community. For information or to request an informational packet for the 2022 Law Day Contest, please contact Tracy Collins at

Cornelia Baciu – Essay – First Place Grace Goodwin 

Grace Goodwin – Essay – Second Place

Hannah Reed – Essay – Honorable Mention

Zoey Rackler – Art – First Place.

Celia Buetens – Art – Second-Place

Olga Baciu – Art – Honorable Mention