American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law and
The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Annual Law Student Writing Competition for 2015-2016
The ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers are pleased to announce their 2015-2016 writing competition. This competition is open to articles written while the author is a student at an accredited law school in the United States. Authors may not have graduated from law school prior to December 1, 2015. Graduate students in law school (LL.M. 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 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 focuses upon case law or statutory developments subsequent to the Supreme Court's decision.
The following prizes may be awarded by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers: First Place: $3000, Second Place: $1000, Third Place: $500. The first-place winning article will be published in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law. In addition, the author will be a guest at the annual CLE 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.
- Judges will pay specific attention to these questions:
- Is the topic relevant to labor and employment law practice?
- Is the paper well written?
- How well is the author’s position argued and supported?
- Is the topic handled with originality and not simply descriptive of a court decision or other legal development?
- 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.
- Students are strongly encouraged to confer or consult with a labor or employment law professor or practitioner on topic selection and in the formation of arguments presented in the paper. 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.
- The article should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with the footnotes single-spaced and double-spacing between footnotes 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 35 pages. Do not submit 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 the author’s name when saving the file.
- All citations should conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th Edition).
- 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, 2015. Graduate students in law school (LL.M. candidates) are not eligible.
- No person may submit more than one entry.
- The judges reserve the right not to award any prizes and to reject any or all submissions.
- Articles must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the subject line "Writing Competition," by midnight (EDT) on June 15, 2016. To assure that competition judges are not provided information on authors’ identity, a separate cover page must also be submitted that includes the paper’s title, author’s name, law school, graduation date, e-mail, street address and telephone number. 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."
Publication and Prizes
The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers may award the following prizes: First Place: $3000, Second Place: $1000, Third Place: $500.
- The first-place winning article will be published in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.
- The names of the authors of the second- and third-place winning 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 CLE 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.