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Enter the second annual Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition


Self-driving cars, literature produced by computers, autonomous military armaments, robotic child companions – and more – are already here.  These developments and those to come all pose important legal issues, some of which are unprecedented. Luckily though, you don’t have to be a Silicon Valley whiz kid to enter this essay competition.

The Center for Legal and Court Technology (CLCT) is pleased to announce its second annual writing competition dedicated to innovative legal issues likely to arise from Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and/or related technologies.

All current law students are cordially invited to submit one paper which must:

  • Set forth the likely issue;
  • Explain why it likely will arise and to what degree; and
  • Analyze the probability that it can be readily resolved by application of existing law.

A submission is not required to contain a proposed solution to the issue; however, any plausible and well-articulated solutions put forward are likely to impress the judges!

CLCT, a joint initiative of William & Mary Law School and the National Center for State Courts, is proud to launch the Innovative Legal Issues Likely To Arise From Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things Writing Competition. CLCT is the world center for courtroom and related technology. Its courtroom, the world’s most technologically advanced, is supported by technology loans from many companies. Thanks to a generous grant from CISCO, CLCT hopes that this competition will help law students explore the challenges that all judges, lawyers, and court officials will face in the future.

What do I submit?

A paper addressing one or more innovative legal issues likely to grow out of Artificial Intelligence or the Internet-of-Things. From AI liability issues to driverless cars, there are tons of issues to choose from. And don’t worry, you don’t need to solve the issue, but if there’s a plausible solution, make sure to include it! Papers should be no longer than 3,500 words including citations.

Can I enter?

Are you a law student in good standing currently enrolled at an accredited law school in the US, EU, or Canada? Then, yes, you can and should enter. Co-authored papers are also welcome, as long as the both authors are currently enrolled law students.

What is the prize?

Three winners will receive cash prizes. J.D. (or equivalent) and L.L.M. students can win $2,000 for first place or $1,000 for second. The first place doctoral law student winner will receive $2,000. In exceptional cases, the judges may select one or more papers to receive an honorable mention, which does not entail a cash prize. In addition, the winning entry will be posted on the Center for Legal and Court Technology’s website.

How do I submit?

Read the competition guidelines for more on how to correctly format your paper and submission form. Then submit your paper via email to essaycompetition@lists.w…. Entries are due no later than December 28, 2018 at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Last year’s winners!

The winners, all of whom will receive cash prizes funded by the Community Foundation grant, were announced in April 2018, and they are:

  • First prize was awarded to “Lights, Camera, AI; Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Ownership in the Entertainment Industry of Tomorrow” authored by Jordan Cohen from Florida International University College of Law.
  • Second prize went to “Perfect Enforcement & Filtering Technology” by Brian Mund from Yale Law School.
  • Third prize was awarded to “AI-‘Agents’: to be or not to be in legal ‘domain’?” jointly written by Federica Casano and Francesco Cavinato, both from Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna.

Two papers were also awarded a Special Mention:

  • Enabling Big Data Despite GDPR Substantive Uncertainty: Compliance Programs and Article 25” by Filippo Raso from Harvard Law School.
  • Platforms and States, Governance and Sovereignty” by Zi Xiang Tan from UC Berkeley School of Law.

All of the submitted papers were interesting and thought-provoking. They covered a broad spectrum of issues such as self-driving car liability,  AI and foreign investment, Big Data and data protection, technology-focused labor market anti-trust claims, innovation externalities and societal costs, computer-generated artistic works and copyright law, and cybercrime to name a few.

CLCT was so impressed with submissions that it plans to launch the second edition of the contest in the 2018-2019 academic year, which is open to law students world-wide. Enter Today!