Our first ever Law and Technology International Writing Competition has officially finished. Our shortlisted entries were announced in January, judging began in February, and the runners-up and overall winner announced in March. Congratulations to our overall winner, Roisin Costello from Trinity College Dublin, and the three runners-up: Patrick Alexander Hum from the London School of Economics, Secil Bilgic from Harvard University and Jae Jun Kim from the University of Auckland.
You can read Roisin’s winning article here: The Tortoise and the Hare? – Due Process and Unconstitutionally Obtained Evidence in the Digital Age.
Shortly after launching the competition in October 2017, we received huge support from universities and students around the world. We were excited to see so many top law schools and international universities sharing our competition page, and even writing articles about their students who entered. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered and supported this competition.
Roisin Costello, the overall 2018 winner, explains why students should enter next year’s competition, and provides advice for current students on writing original and creative blogs:
The competition offers an exceptional opportunity to expose your writing to Justis’ international readership, and an associated impact for your research findings and ideas few students receive. The competition is exceptional, as the caliber of entries included on the shortlist this year illustrated and I can only imagine this will become even more evident in coming years. At an individual level the discipline of distilling complex legal arguments and ideas into concise, approachable pieces for public consumption is a hugely valuable skill both in practice and, increasingly, for those entering academia who want to communicate the importance of their research to the populations affected by it.
Generally my advice would be to write, not conversationally, but very clearly, in direct, precise language. I think it is important to bear in mind you are not necessarily addressing an audience who have a pre-existing interest or experience of the subject you are discussing – or its importance. What may seem obvious to you is not necessarily so to an ‘outsider.’ There can also be a temptation to acknowledge and counter every argument and cram in a level of nuance that simply doesn’t sit well with the medium. For what it’s worth I think good blogs are highly precise in their use of language, have one clear, concisely articulated view or argument, a solution and a brief acknowledgement (if necessary) of the limitations of same.
Next year’s competition will be launching this autumn! However, we may have other competitions, events, news and updates for law schools and students before then – so keep your eye on our blog, newsletter, Twitter and Facebook.
Don’t forget, you can always contact us with your feedback about our competition on firstname.lastname@example.org.