The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law
Annual Law Student Writing Competition for 2017-2018
The ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers are pleased to announce their 2017-2018 writing competition. This competition is open to articles written while the author is an active student at an accredited law school in the United States. Authors may not have graduated from law school prior to December 1, 2017. Graduate students in law school (LLM candidates) are not eligible. Entries should address aspects of public or private sector labor and/or employment law relevant to the American labor and employment bar. Students are encouraged to discuss novel issues, innovative ideas, or fresh perspectives on the following areas affecting labor and employment in the U.S. and/or abroad that would be noteworthy to the U.S.: a public policy issue; practical implications of a leading case or doctrine; a statute or the need for statutory modification; or a common law doctrine. Articles may address U.S. law, international law of relevance to U.S. labor and employment attorneys, or how a legal topic is treated in states across the country. Papers limited to the law of a single state will not be considered. Papers must be analytical in nature, not merely a summary of the law. Students must present and discuss competing points of view with respect to the issue addressed and must distinguish their conclusions from opposing positions with sound logic and reference to multiple primary and secondary sources. We discourage students from writing articles about a recent Supreme Court decision or a case pending before the Supreme Court, unless the article is novel and focuses upon case law or statutory developments subsequent to the Supreme Court’s decision.
Prizes are as follows: First Place: $3000; Second Place: $1000, and Third Place: $500. The first-place winning article may be selected for publication in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law. In addition, the author of the first-place paper will be a guest at the annual Continuing Legal Education program of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and honored at the Annual Induction Dinner of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. The College and the Section reserve the right not to select any article for publication or award any prizes if, in their judgment, the submissions do not meet their standards for outstanding legal writing.
Competition rules are also available at as a PDF HERE.
1. Judges will pay specific attention to these questions:
- Is the analysis original, novel, fresh, and/or innovative? Is the topic handled with originality and not simply descriptive of a court decision or other legal development?
- Is the topic relevant to labor and employment law practice?
- Is the paper well written, with strong footnoting following the Bluebook and providing insightful information?
- How well is the author’s position argued and supported?
- What is the quality of the author’s legal analysis?
2. Entries will also be evaluated on grammar, spelling, usage and syntax, clarity, structure, overall appearance, strength of writing, and strength of consideration of competing viewpoints.
3. Students are required to confer or consult with a labor or employment law professor or practitioner on topics, and consult with such experts in the formation of arguments presented in the paper. This requirement better assures that content will be relevant and of interest to potential readers, most of whom routinely practice labor and employment law. However, manuscripts must be the original work of a single author, may not have been written for paid employment, and may not have been submitted for publication elsewhere.
4. The text and footnotes should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced on 8 ½ x 11 inch paper with one-inch margins on all sides. The manuscript, exclusive of the cover page, must be between 20 and 40 pages. Do not submit an abstract, endnotes, a table of contents, or table of cases. Articles must be submitted as two attachments, one in Microsoft Word and one in PDF format. Please do not use author’s name when saving the file.
5. All citations should conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th Edition). Footnotes should be instructive and not merely cite a case or secondary source.
6. Submissions must have been written while the author was a student at an accredited law school in the United States. Authors may not have graduated from law school prior to December 1, 2017. Graduate students in law school (LLM candidates) are not eligible.
7. No person may submit more than one entry.
8. The judges reserve the right not to award any prizes and to reject any or all submissions.
9. Articles must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the subject line “Writing Competition,” by midnight (EDT) on June 15, 2018. To assure that competition judges are not provided information on authors’ identity, a separate cover page must be submitted with your manuscript (see last page of rules). No personal information should appear on the manuscript itself; however, the title should appear at the top of the first page and pages should be numbered. Do not include your name as part of the file names of your Word or PDF documents; instead use a descriptive name related to the subject matter of your article, such as “Sexual Harassment” or “Union Organizing.”
All submissions must include a separate cover page with your manuscript to assure that competition judges are not provided information on authors’ identity. The cover page is available here.
Publication and Prizes
The following prizes are available: First Place: $3,000; Second Place: $1,000; and Third Place: $500. The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the Labor and Employment Law Section of the ABA reserve the right not to select any article for publication or not award any or all prizes if, in their judgment, the submissions do not meet their standards for outstanding legal writing.
The first-place winning article may be selected for publication in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.
Names of the authors of the winning articles and titles of their articles will be mentioned in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.
The author of the first-place winning article will be invited as a guest of the annual Continuing Legal Education program of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and honored at the Annual Induction Dinner of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers may, at its discretion, include a copy of any or all of the prize-winning manuscripts in an issue of its newsletter and/or on its web site.