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GCC student wins Law Day essay contest

Genesee Community College student Leah Reino with instructor Michael Weston in the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany on Monday. Courtesy Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College student Leah Reino with instructor Michael Weston in the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany on Monday. Courtesy Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College student Leah Reino was the top prize winner of the 2010 David A. Garfinkel Essay Competition.

She was awarded $1,500 and traveled to Albany with instructor Michael Weston and her family for a recognition ceremony in the New York State Court of Appeals on Monday. Among the four finalists was another GCC student, Phyllis Washburn and Honorable Mention was awarded to Kristen Casper and Genevieve Oliveira, also GCC students.

The Historical Society of the Courts of New York Law Day Essay contest is open to SUNY and CUNY students, including community colleges. The topic of this year’s contest was The Evolution of Justice Along the Erie Canal. Reino’s essay “More Than a Canal: Erie’s Role in Changing the Law,” was the result of her analysis of legal briefs and comparison of the past and present-day forms of justice in the state. Her winning essay is available online at www.courts.state.ny.us/history/essay/2010/2010Winner.pdf

Reino is now working on her associate’s degree with plans to graduate in the spring of 2011, according to a release from GCC. She is currently studying biotechnology but is now considering law as a possible career avenue.

“I’ve always been interested in the law,” Leah said. “I’m now considering a career in law instead of science. [The essay project] has been very eye-opening.”