We Have A Winner!

Before announcing the winner, the members of The Mininno Law Firm would like to officially thank and congratulate all five participants: Scott Bass, Jessica Dochney, Leyla Wirtz, Albertine Shain, and Nia Holsten. You should be very proud of yourselves and the essays you presented for the contest. You should also thank your friends and family for the support they gave each of you. There were thousands of votes that were logged.
At first, Scott Bass’s and Leyla Renee Wirtz’s contingents made them both very strong and early favorites. Then as the voting went along, while the others were receiving consistent votes, the Bass Team was outdoing them but a wide margin. Just when it appeared that it would be a Bass Team vote landslide, Jessica Dochney entered the contest and received tremendous early and strong voter support, as did Leyla Renee Wirtz.

While everyone continued to receive consistent support, just a few weeks ago, it looked like a three person race with the Bass Team leading, the Wirtz Team second and Team Dochney a bit behind in third. That’s when the “Albertine L. Shain rally” began.
As late as two weeks ago, Shain’s vote was just 7.7% of the totals – that’s when the entire dynamic of the contest changed. Since that time, Team Shain continued to show late and overwhelming support, which dramatically altered the results of the popular vote.

The final popular vote was much closer than it had been during the entire contest. Because the popular vote was so close, the judging the final essays on a comparative basis became even more important. This judging was the hard part. I heard discussions between the judges about voice, style, grammar, a concise and clear argument, staying on topic, enthusiasm and overall presentation of subject knowledge.
The judges debated these ranking and ratings for several hours and then presented me with their own ranking results. I then tallied up the percentage rank from the popular vote and the percentage rank from the judge’s vote and added the two percentages together… The results were within a few percentage points of each other… but Albertine Shain is our winner!

Congratulations to Albertine Shain!

To the others, your essays were all well written and showed an advanced knowledge of our justice system. I really enjoyed reading them, your friends and families’ comments and seeing the great support each of you received. Believe me, the contest was “THE HOT TOPIC” of discussion among us here at the Mininno Law Office this last month. You all worked very hard and it showed. My only regret is that there could be only one winner.
Thank you to all of the participants and good luck in future endeavors. I will be happy to write a letter of reference for any of you if you ever need one. Please let me know if you would like any confidential feedback from our judges on your essays. We may run another contest in the fall, so please keep checking back.

4 thoughts on “We Have A Winner!”

  1. Congratulations, Abbie! Your splendid writing and your hard work has earned this for you.

  2. The Bordentown Regional High School community is so proud of Abbie and Leyla for their outstanding work and devotion to scholarly endeavors.

    Leyla, keep on keepin’ on for you will be richly and deservedly rewarded for your efforts.

    And Abbie… what can I say? I am so proud of you in all ways. You really “get it.” You love learning for its own sake and thrive in the process every day. The ferocity of your commitment to learning and knowledge is boundless, and the profundity of your desire to truly make your community, nation, and world a better place is nothing less than extraordinary. Congratulations, my dear!

  3. All 5 essays were well written. Four of the five were well researched and addressed the topic of why plaintiff’s trial lawyers are good for society. The other while very well written never addressed the topic but instead was about our legal system, prosecutors, and career plans but does not in any way focus on the plaintiff trial lawyer or why it is good for society. If persuing a career in law was a factor in this it should have been noted. If this is repeated in the fall it will not be available to the students who participated as seniors but I hope that something will be done to avoid the tactics online that were used this time and that the students personal information will not be made public. First name and High School would be plenty of information. A big push in the popular vote the last 3 nights in a row between 6 and 9 pm is a bit odd as well. It was generous to offer the scholarship. I hope in the future that things will be handled a bit differently.

  4. I assume, Sue, you’re unhappy about who won. Here’s all I can say: apparently that fifth essay addressed the topic quite masterfully if it won. Note that she wasn’t even first place in the popular vote and she is still victorious. AND her essay was posted after the others, even though she mailed it in on time. She had a handicap and the high caliber of her work overcame it.

    As for “handling things differently”, how exactly can they stop people from voting at a specific time? There is no way that would be fair for the people who receive votes from other students (who get home at the time you mentioned).

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