The 2016 Public Law Section Student Writing Competition

Win a $2,000 cash prize, get published in the Public Law Journal,
and win a trip to the 2016 State Bar Annual Meeting!

Deadline May 13, 2016

The California State Bar Public Law Section seeks entries for its annual Student Writing Competition.  The competition is open to students at all California-accredited law schools, and the winner receives a $2,000 cash prize; transportation and hotel expenses for two nights at the State Bar Annual Meeting in San Diego in the fall of 2016 where the winner will be recognized at an awards reception; and publication in the Public Law Journal.

What Articles Are Eligible?

Articles must be 2,000-3,000 words (not including endnotes) and must be on a topic related to public law -- a field that covers areas such as administrative law, constitutional law, municipal law, open meetings/open records law, political/election law, education law, state and federal legislation, public employment and labor law, government contracts, government tort liability and regulations, land use/environmental issues, public law ethics, public finance, and water law.  Articles should be written in a style suitable for publication in the Public Law Journal and should include citations in either Bluebook or California Style Manual format, with citations included in endnotes, not footnotes.  Articles should be the original work of the submitting students without substantial editorial input from others.  Examples of past selected articles include:  “Leggo My Home Rule:  Charter Cities and State Municipal Interference”; “A Tale of Two Cities:  Day Labor Solicitation after Redondo Beach”; and “Funding Public Transit in California After Proposition 26”.

Who Can Enter?

As of May 2016, students must be enrolled in good standing at a California law school’s Juris Doctor program that is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.  Students need not be Public Law Section members to enter the competition.

Deadline / Method of Submission

Articles must be received by 5 p.m. (PST) on May 13, 2016.  Articles must be submitted, by email, in Microsoft Word documents in Times New Roman 12-point font, single-spaced.  Citations must be included in endnotes, not footnotes.  Articles may include headings and subheadings, but excessive headings are discouraged.  Email articles to cfowler@srcity.org or Rachel_Sommovilla@ci.richmond.ca.us by 5 p.m. on May 13, 2016.  A member of the Public Law Section’s Executive Committee will notify the winner in June 2016.

By submitting an article as part of this contest, the author grants the Public Law Section the right to edit (as necessary) and publish any article in the Public Law Journal.

Questions?

Please direct any questions about the contest to Rachel Sommovilla at 510-620-6506 or Caroline Fowler at 707-543-3040.

Award

The winner will receive a $2,000 cash prize from the Public Law Section and will have his or her article published in the Public Law Journal.  The winner also will be recognized at the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award reception sponsored by the Public Law Section at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting in San Diego in the fall of 2016.  The Public Law Section will pay the winner’s reasonable transportation and hotel accommodation expenses for two nights to attend the award reception.

Judging

Articles will be judged by the Executive Committee of the Public Law Section based on the following criteria:

  • Relevancy to one or more areas of public law (see description of eligible articles and examples of past winners)
  • Quality of writing
  • Complexity of topic
  • Timeliness of topic to current developments in public law
  • Originality
  • Compliance with contest rules

About the Public Law Section

The Public Law Section seeks to ensure that laws affecting the public sector are clear, effective and serve the public interest; to advance public service through public law practice; and to enhance the effectiveness of public law practitioners.  With more than 1,300 members, including law students, the Public Law Section focuses on addressing issues related to all areas of public law – including administrative law, constitutional law, municipal and county law, open meetings/open records laws, political/election law, education law, water law, state and federal legislation, public employment, government contracts, government tort liability, agency regulations, land use/environmental issues, public lawyer ethics, and public finance.

The Public Law Section provides educational programs, seminars and resource materials; presents the annual “Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award” to public law practitioners who have made significant contributions to the profession; sponsors the annual Student Writing Competition; and publishes the quarterly Public Law Journal.

2016 Competition Flyer

Please feel free to distribute our flyer for the 2016 Competition.

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