The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and
American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law
Annual Law Student Writing Competition for 2021
The ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers are pleased to announce their 2021 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, 2020. Graduate students in law school (LLM candidates) are not eligible.
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 ABA Annual Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference 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 as a PDF HERE.
1. Judges will pay specific attention to these questions:
- Is the topic relevant, engaging and useful to labor and employment lawyers in their practices? The article should not be one state centric, rather it should be relevant nationally, or at a minimum, it should compare/contrast the state to the national perspective
- Is the analysis original, novel, fresh, and innovative? Is the topic more than a simple description of a court decision or other legal development?
- Are competing viewpoints considered? The author should present the arguments in a professional, not political or ideological, manner befitting a scholarly work and, therefore, language, tone and treatment of alternative perspectives and points of view should be descriptive and/or analytical.
- Is the paper well written, with strong footnoting following the Bluebook and providing insightful information?
2. Entries will also be evaluated on clarity, including on syntax, grammar and spelling.
3. Students are required to confer or consult with a labor or employment law professor or practitioner on topics.
4. Manuscripts must be the original work of a single author and may not have been written for paid employment. The manuscript may not be under review for publication anywhere at the time it is submitted to this competition and may not be submitted for publication anywhere between the date of its submission and August 15, 2021.
5. The text 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. Footnotes should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, but can be single spaced. The manuscript, exclusive of the cover page, must be between 20 and 30 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.
6. 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. For secondary sources, law review articles are preferred sources over online encyclopedias, blog posts, and social media, unless they are directly relevant to the topic (for example, a situation where a worker was fired for writing a blog post). If an online source mentions or cites a case, please cite directly to the original case.
7. 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, 2020.
8. No person may submit more than one entry.
9. The judges reserve the right not to award any prizes and to reject any or all submissions.
10. Articles must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the subject line “Writing Competition,” by midnight (EDT) on June 15, 2021. 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 “Free Speech and the National Labor Relations Act,” or “Religion and Employment Law.”
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
1. The following prizes are available: First Place: $3,000; Second Place: $1,000; and Third Place: $500.
2. One or more articles may be selected for publication in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.
3. Names of the authors of the winning articles and titles of their articles will be mentioned in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.
4. 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.
5.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 or on its web site.
6. Editors of the ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law have the final authority, in their discretion, over whether to publish a winning article. A paper may not be published, among other reasons, if the winning paper’s topic is the same, or similar to, other articles that have largely covered the field or predominantly covered the field.