Law in Society Competition Rules
The 2013 entry deadline has passed. Please check back November 15, 2013, for details on the 2014 Law in Society contest.
Electronic submissions are preferred. Please do not duplicate your entries by e-mailing and sending hard copies.
Who may enter?
Entrants must be enrolled in grades 9–12 in a Virginia high school. Private school and home-schooled students at equivalent grade and age levels also are encouraged to enter.
Although teachers and other individuals can assist students in thinking about the essay, each essay must be written solely by the student named on the entry application.
What should my essay be about?
Your essay must be in response to the given hypothetical. Please structure your response in three sections:
- Part I: Write a law addressing the hypothetical. Your proposed law should start with the words “It shall be unlawful.” Type those words into a search of the Code of Virginia at https://leg1.state.va.us/000/src.htm for examples of how to structure your law.
- Part II: Make your argument for the law
- Part III: Address any expected arguments against the law.
Essays will be judged on presentation — including grammar and spelling — and how well students apply their own understanding and reasoning to the topic. Students need not have a deep knowledge of legal concepts and theory, and no extra research beyond what is suggested above is necessary.
How long does my essay need to be?
The essay must be between 750 and 1,000 words. Essays with less than 750 words or more than 1,000 words will not be judged. Word count must be included on the entry form.
Entries must be typed and double-spaced. All essays must have a title.
Very Important: Your name and school name should appear ONLY on your entry form/e-mail. Do not include name on page headers or footers. The title should be the heading for the document.
What is the deadline?
The essay and entry form must be received at the offices of the Virginia State Bar by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.
How will I know if I’m a winner?
You will be contacted by the VSB if you are an award winner. A list of winners will be available in May 2013 on the Law in Society winners webpage, or by written request.