Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Health Law Section

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Law Student Writing Competition

Student Writing Competition 2020-2021 Academic Year

The Health Law Section of the Virginia State Bar (“VSB”) was organized in 1984 and its membership consists of those in legal practice devoted to dealing with the administration of health care. The Health Law Section is sponsoring a Student Writing Competition (the “Competition”) in order to promote academic debate and the dissemination of ideas and scholarly writing in the field of health law.

The winner was announced in May 2021.


There are three levels of prizes. 

First Place:  $1,500 and consideration for publication on the Health Law Section’s website and in Virginia Lawyer, the official publication of the VSB.

Second Place:  $1000

Third Place:  $500


The Competition is open to all students enrolled and in good standing during the 2020-2021 academic year at (i) any Virginia law school, or (ii) a law school outside Virginia as a resident of Virginia (with proof of residency).

Topic, Format and Submission:

Articles must relate to a health law issue or the practice of health law. There is no minimum length, but articles should not exceed 50 pages, including end-notes. Entries must include the student’s name, address, telephone number, law school, expected graduation date, and the following signed statement: “I declare that during the 2020-2021 academic year, I was enrolled and in good standing (i) at a Virginia law school, or (ii) at a law school outside Virginia as a Virginia resident. I further declare that this entry was written solely by me while enrolled and in good standing in law school.” The student author’s inclusion of this statement in the transmittal email, together with his or her typed name between two forward slashes (i.e. /Jane M. Doe/) shall constitute a signature for the purpose of the signed statement requirement.

Deadline coming soon:

The winner was announced in May 2021.


Entries will be judged by members of the Health Law Section, in their sole discretion.  Criteria for judging will include:

• Subject matter originality;

• Relevance to health law practice;

• Quality of the analysis and research;

• Quality of writing;

• Proper reliance on cited authorities;

• Clarity of expression;

• Grammar, spelling and vocabulary

Preference may be given to topics demonstrating particular relevance to contemporary events, addressing unsettled issues of law, or presenting novel and unique perspectives.

Other Terms & Conditions:

Articles must have been written solely by the author while enrolled in law school.  No article submitted as an entry in this Competition may be published in any other forum until the Competition has ended and the winner has been announced.  After that time, articles submitted but not selected as the winning article may be published without limitation.  The author of the winning article grants VSB and the Health Law Section a non-exclusive license to publish the article at the VSB’s and the Health Law Section’s discretion.  The VSB and the Health Law Section reserve the right to make editorial revisions to the author’s article prior to publication.  Other publications of the article by the author must include a footnote acknowledging the award from the VSB Health Law Section.  By submitting an article in this competition, the author agrees to be bound by the rules, terms and conditions governing the competition and the award of any prizes therein.  The Health Law Section reserves the right not to make an award in this Competition if no entries of acceptable quality are received.

Please contact Allyson Tysinger, at, for more information.



The Health Law Section’s writing competition for students at Virginia law schools for the 2020-2021 academic year has selected last year’s top entries and awarded prizes totaling $3,000. 

Contestants submitted papers on health law issues or the practice of health law. Entries were judged by a committee of the Health Law Section on the basis of subject matter originality, relevance to health law, quality of analysis and research, and quality of writing.  

The winning entries are:

Christian Sorenson1st Prize and $1500: Christian Sorenson for Thinking Outside the Box: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, In Vitro Fertilization, and Disability Screening in the Wake of Box v. Planned Parenthood


Edka Wong2nd Prize and $1000: Edka Wong for Does Fecal Matter? Implications of FDA Regulation on Current and Future Therapeutic Uses of FMT


Madison Wonson3rd Prize and $500: Madison Wonson for Conflicts of Interest in Nutrition Policy: Why Americans Are So Confused When It Comes To Nutrition And How The Law Can Help Create A Healthier America