For Law Students

Join Now

IoT3: Your fate awaits in the 3nd 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 wiz kid to enter this essay competition.

The Center for Legal and Court Technology (CLCT) is pleased to announce its third 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 ABA-accredited law school in the US or in a foreign law school with an equivalent accrediation? 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., LL.M., or doctoral students  students can win $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second, and $1,000 for third. 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 11:59 Eastern Standard Time (EST) on December 20th.

Last Year’s Winners!

The winners, all of whom will receive cash prizes funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation grant, were announced in April 2019, and they are:

  • First prize awarded to “AI and the Board: Practical and Legal Considerations for Augmenting Board Decision-Making with Artificial Intelligence and Its Impacts on Corporate Law,” by Jordan Cohen, Emory University School of Law, J.D. (expected 2020).
  • Second prize went to “Examining the CFAA in the Context of Adversarial Machine Learning,” by Natalie Chyi, Cornell Law School, LL.M. in Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (expected 2019).

In the Doctoral Student Division, first prize went to:

  • What Are You tAxIng About? Balancing Out the Tax System to Avoid the Consequences of Automation in the Welfare System,” by Vasiliki Koukoulioti, Queen Mary, University of London, Ph.D. in Law (expected 2021).

One paper was also awarded a Special Mention:

  • Future-Proofing Robotics: Limiting Manufacturer Liability from Autonomous Processes,” by Ryan Whittington, Georgetown Law, J.D. (expected 2020).

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.

Enter Today!

Alexandra Pratt Alexandra Pratt is a 1L student at the William & Mary Law School and a Graduate Research Fellow at the Center for Legal & Court Technology. She is hoping to become a litigator in her home state of Virginia.