North Smithfield 3rd grader submits winning entry in RWU’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg contest


NORTH SMITHFIELD – A third grade student from North Smithfield Elementary School has been named the winner in her division in Roger Williams University School of Law’s second annual Ruth Bader Ginsburg Essay Contest.

Aviva Nierman was named winner of the Elementary School category for her artwork titled, “Justice, Justice, Shall You Pursue.”

Students from grades K through 12 were invited to submit essays and artwork on how they have been inspired by the legacy of late associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who died on September 18, 2020.

The winning students received cash prizes and books, and Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly will publish the winning entries.

Nierman’s entry featured a drawing of the late Supreme Court justice surrounding by the ways Ginsburg was inspiring with words including, “strong,” “independent,” “courageous,” “daring,” “honorable,” and “brilliant.”

Above Nierman’s drawing is a quote from Ginsburg.

“Do something outside yourself…something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is – living not for oneself, but for one’s community,” it notes.

“Justice Ginsburg cared about equality for all people,” said RWU Law Professor Emily Sack, who advises the Women’s Law Society, which co-sponsored the contest with its members serving as judges. “When she started her fight for women’s equality under the law, it seemed like an impossible task, but she worked hard and persisted, and made great strides for the things she believed in.”

A release on the winning entries noted that this year’s response was, “gratifyingly large and enthusiastic,” and that judges found themselves making some very hard choices. Only two other winners were named, with Carter Mi, a student at TIMES² Academy in Providence winning the middle school division and Isabella Montini of North Kingstown named the high school winner.

RWU Law congratulated Nierman on social media, posting a photo of the contest winner sitting in the chair used by Ginsburg when she visited the law school in 2018.

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