Writing Competitions for Law Students: 2015

By Brenda Jones, Reference Librarian, bljones@samford.edu

Each year, various organizations sponsor competitions for law school students offering cash awards, the opportunity to publish, and free trips. For more information on writing contests, check the bulletin board outside Professor Belle Stoddard’s office, #224 in the Cumberland law school. Deadlines and criteria may change so contact the sponsoring organization or visit its website for full details and rules of any contest. A sampling of current contests includes the following:

Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, Mollie and Paul Hill Student Writing Competition in medical-legal professional collaboration awarding $250 for the top paper by a law student (deadline January 2, 2015).

Grammy Foundation’s 17th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative with top prize of $5000 and travel expenses to attend the Grammy awards in Los Angeles, plus four second-place awards of $1500 each (deadline January 6, 2015).

ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Law Student Writing Competition awarding $2000 cash, travel expenses to the Forum’s annual meeting, recognition in the Forum’s newsletter and on its website, and publication opportunities (deadline January 15, 2015).

Thomas Jefferson School of Law, First Annual Jameson Crane III Disability and the Law Writing Competition with a top award of $1500 and possible publication in the school’s law review, plus $1000 each to two second-place winners (deadline January 15, 2015).

Pacific Legal Foundation Law Student Writing Competition on specified topics with the winner receiving $3000, publication assistance, and travel expenses to the foundation’s annual gala, plus second and third-place awards of $2000 and $3000 (deadline January 16, 2015).

Chicago-Kent College of Law, Institute for Law and the Workplace, and Jackson Lewis LLP, Louis Jackson National Student Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law with top prize of $3000 and two awards of $1000 each plus publication on the Institute’s website (January 20, 2015).

University of Oklahoma College of Law Writing Competition on any issue concerning American Indian law or indigenous peoples awarding $1000 and publication in the American Indian Law Review, plus $500 for second-place and $250 for third-place winners (deadline January 30, 2015).

The American Veterinary Medical Association, American Kennel Club, Cat Fancier Association, and Animal Health Institute, Animal Law Writing Contest on specified topics awarding $2500 and travel expenses to the Veterinary Association’s annual meeting in Boston, with $1000 cash to the second-place winner (deadline February 15, 2015).

American Bar Association, Family Law Section, Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest on any aspect of family law awarding $1500 for the top paper, $750 second, and $350 third with possible publication in the Family Law Quarterly (deadline April 17, 2015).

The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Student Writing Competition with the winner receiving $1500 and publication in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law plus second and third-place prizes of $1000 and $500 (deadline May 15, 2015).

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ABA Journal’s “Twelve Movies with Pivotal Lessons Featuring Lawyers”: How Many Have You Seen?

by Ed Craig, Reference Librarian elcraig@samford.edu

The August edition of the ABA Journal (112 Movies with Pivotal Lessons Featuring Lawyers, ABA JOURNAL, August 2014, at 40)  includes an article listing 12 movies that have “pivotal movie scenes that have useful takeaways for lawyers.”   This article briefly describes each movie’s plot and what lessons a lawyer can take from watching it.   They are:

Anatomy of a Murder (In court, don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to.)

A Time to Kill ( Don’t always assume that juries will apply the law neutrally without prodding.)

I Am Sam (Sometimes cases are better processed using alternative dispute resolution rather than the regular court system.)

Legally   Blonde (Explains Federal   Rule   of   Evidence 104(b).)

Absence of Malice (Government leaks are unethical.)

My Cousin Vinny (Courts deal with  challenging  issues involved with allowing expert testimony.)

And Justice for All (Ethical dilemmas are commonly involved with attorney client confidentiality.)

True Grit (Be prepared for court.)

Philadelphia (You should break down a case so that a jury can understand it.)

The Verdict (A closing argument can be used to “implore a jury to look within themselves to find justice.”)

Malice (In depositions, be sure to get a stipulation among counsel to go “off the record.”)

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October Selected List of Recent Acquisitions

The October Selected List of Recent Acquisitions is now available.

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Cumberland Book Club

A copy of each title included in this year’s Cumberland Book Club can be found in the Reading Lounge, Room 250.

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