Format: Writing Competition
Sponsor: ABA Criminal Justice Section
List Price: Free
ABA Member Price: Free
Sponsor Member Price: FreeLearn More
The contest is open to students who, on the date the entry is submitted, attend and are in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school within the United States and its possessions. Membership in the Criminal Justice Section is not a requirement. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and legal permanent residents or citizens of the United States. Employees, officers, directors of the ABA and members of their immediate families are not eligible.
2021 COMPETITION TOPIC: Police Use-of-Force
The Supreme Court has held that a police officer does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable seizures if their use of force was “objectively reasonable” under the totality of the facts and circumstances confronting the officer. Should the “objectively reasonable” standard be changed? Why or why not?
Further, should the Fourth Amendment require that no reasonable alternative to the use of force, or the amount of force used, existed to accomplish the lawful purpose intended by the officer? For example, should an officer be required to use verbal de-escalation techniques before using force? Should the officer have to exhaust all other options before using deadly force?
Clear, persuasive, and original analytical reasoning that is well-supported with concrete examples and references is essential and will weigh heavily in the determination of the contest winner.
JUDGING & PRIZE
A winning entry will contain an original discussion of the selected topic, will be substantively accurate and supported by citations, and will be grammatically correct, concise, well-reasoned, and clearly written. Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: (1) writing quality; (2) analysis and legal reasoning; (3) originality; (4) quality and use of research; and (5) compliance with these Rules. The Section reserves the right not to award a prize if, in the judgment of the Criminal Justice magazine editorial board’s judging panel, no entry meets these conditions. The decision of the editorial board is final.
NOTIFICATION OF WINNER
The winner will be notified by August 31, 2021, 11:59 pm CST. If a potential winner does not respond within thirty days after ABA’s first attempt to contact him or her, or if the contact is returned as non-deliverable, the potential winner forfeits all rights to be named as winner or receive a prize, and an alternate winner may be chosen.
The winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize that may be presented at an agreed-upon CJS event with approved transportation costs not to exceed $800 to be covered by the Section. (The winner is solely responsible for taxes on both the cash prize and reimbursed travel.) The winner will be required to submit a completed W-9, affidavit of eligibility, tax acknowledgment and liability release for tax purposes as a condition to receiving the cash prize. All forms must be completed and returned via email to Mitzy Reid at Mitzy.Reid@americanbar.o… within ten (10) business days of receipt, or prizes will be considered forfeited and another winner may be named.
The decision of the Sponsor is final. In addition, the winner’s law school will receive a plaque from the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section. At the sole discretion of the editorial board, the winning entry may be selected for publication in Criminal Justice magazine, subject to editing. The Sponsor may substitute a prize of equal or greater value in its sole discretion. Prizes are non-transferable and cannot be substituted by the winner. If his or her entry is selected for publication, the winner will be required to sign the standard ABA copyright agreement warranting the entry’s originality and granting the ABA first publication rights. Please note: the ABA must have the first right of publication of the selected essay.
ALL ENTRANTS: Receive one year’s free full membership in the Criminal Justice Section.
Only original and unpublished papers are eligible. Papers prepared for law school credit are eligible provided they are the entrant’s original work. Jointly authored papers are not eligible. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to have their work reviewed and critiqued by a faculty member or practicing lawyer, although the submission must be the student’s own work product. Section officers, section staff, Criminal Justice magazine editorial board members, and selection committee members shall not participate in the review/critique process. A student may submit only one entry per contest year.
FORMAT: Entries cannot exceed 4,000 words, including titles, text, and citations. Entries must be submitted in Word as an e-mail attachment. Entries should reflect the style and format of Criminal Justice magazine, including citations that are embedded in text. Entries with footnotes or endnotes will not be accepted. Citations must conform to the 20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.
ALL ENTRIES: Two title pages are required. The first title page must include: (1) title of paper (2) author’s name (and the name of reviewing faculty member/practicing lawyer, if applicable) (3) telephone number(s), mailing address(es), and e-mail address(es) where author can be reached June– August 2021 (4) name of law school (5) year of expected graduation (6) date submitted for academic credit (if applicable) (7) entrant’s personal certification of good standing at the law school. The second title page should include only: (1) title of paper (2) last four (4) digits of the author’s phone number
All entries must be received by the editor no later than July 1, 2021, 11:59 pm CST. Faxed entries will not be accepted. The sponsors are not responsible for late, lost, or misdirected entries, or for computer errors or technical failures. SEND ENTRIES to Erin Remotigue, Editor, Criminal Justice Magazine, American Bar Association, via electronic submission by e-mail to erin.remotigue@americanb…