Essay Contest





First Place Essay: 1st Place

Second Place Essays2nd Place #1 & 2nd Place #2

Third Place Essays: 3rd Place #13rd Place #2, & 3rd Place #3


For the Press Release: PR ENGLISH & PR SPANISH

2017 Essay Topic – Distracted Driving

Distracted driving caused by cell phone usage is one of the leading causes of auto-collisions nationwide.  The State of Colorado passed a bill in May of 2017 that dramatically increased the penalty for text messaging while driving from a $50 fine and one point against the driver’s license to a $300 fine and four points against the driver’s license.  Drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using a cellphone while driving, and they can be fined and may risk losing their licenses.  Yet many text and drive anyway.

The Colorado Department of Transportation considers notes that deaths caused by distracted driving are on the rise.  In 2015, 68 deaths and 15,574 crashes involved Colorado distracted drivers.  In 2016, more than 600 people died on Colorado’s roadways, according to statistics gathered by state transportation officials, up about 11 percent from 2015 and the highest total in a decade and the CDOT director blames this surge of deaths on the “epidemic of distracted driving.”

We at Lee, Myers & O’Connell have also noted a large increase in collisions caused by distracted driving and routinely subpoena the cell phone records of those who injure our clients.  We wholeheartedly support CDOT’s campaign against distracted driving which includes the video:

In an effort to help eliminate this deadly practice we hope to engage the community in discussion about the dangers of the potentially fatal habit of distracted driving.  When we saw recent news reports  that 22 percent of Colorado drivers admit to reading cellphone messages while driving we wanted warn others of the dangers of distracted driving and thought an essay contest aimed at younger drivers may help.  To that end, we have set up this essay contest.

Topic: How does texting while driving affect the safety of our streets and can we prevent these accidents from happening?

Essay Format

The essay should be 300-500 words. Entries must be typed and double-spaced.


All students enrolled in grades 9-12 in U.S. public, private or home schools within the state of Colorado are eligible. Students must submit original work.

About the award

Winners of the essay contest will receive scholarship awards that should be used for academic purposes. This scholarship is meant to benefit the student’s educational aspirations and should be used to supplement their study. Although the resources that the scholarship can provide remain open-ended (such as books, class materials, a laptop, etc), we ask that the winners of the scholarship use the award award toward their academic future and not for personal recreation.

Winners will be notified by the end of September.

Award Recognition

First Place: $2,000 Scholarship Award – 1 STUDENT
Second Place: $1,000 Scholarship Award – 2 STUDENTS
Third Place: $500 Scholarship Award-  3 STUDENTS

Winners of the essay contest will be published in the newspaper and recognized on the LMO Facebook page.

The first 50 students will receive an LMO water bottle.

Official Rules

Section I – General Rules

  1. Contestants must compose an original essay with limited guidance from others.
  2. Due to the volume of entries received, only the First, Second, and Third place winners will be contacted with the results.
  3. Participants must write on the official topic.
  4. Essays must contain at least 300 words but no more than 500 words. Every word of the essay is counted. This does not include the title, bibliography or footnotes.
  5. Any quotations or copyrighted material used in the essay must be identified properly. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.
  6. Essays must be written in English.
  7. The cover page (found below) must be filled out and attached to the essay when submitted.
  8. Please email all submissions as an attachment to  In the email subject line include your Last Name, First Name – Essay Contest

  9. The results of the contest are final. No higher appeals will be recognized.

Section II- Scoring of the Essays

Scoring procedures at all levels of the contest will be identical.

1.) Material Organization: 50 points  Logical interpretation of the subject, adherence to topic

2.) Diction, Style, and Voice: 35 points  Phrasing, Continuity, and Flow

3.) Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, and Neatness: 10 points  

4.) Adherence to contest rules: 5 points  Prepared in the proper format

Essays will be judged by an independent panel with the names of the students redacted.


August 31, 2017 5:00 PM MST

All students must submit their own, original work. Students who enter must also agree to give Lee, Myers, and O’Connell the right to publish their name, work, and photographs/videos of them online if they are selected as one of the winners of this essay contest.

LMO Essay Contest Cover Page


Tell us about your case


Contact Us

Lee, Myers & O’Connell, LLP
2851 South Parker Road, Suite 760
Aurora, CO 80014
Lee, Myers & O’Connell, LLP
685 Citadel Drive East, Suite 345E
Colorado Springs, CO 80909