Submitting to the Eighth Annual Constance Baker Motley
National Student Writing Competition
2013 Competition Overview/Theme
The American Constitution Society (ACS) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School ACS Chapter are pleased to announce the eighth annual national student writing competition! In honor of Constance Baker Motley's legacy, the competition now bears her name. As a civil rights attorney, first woman elected President of the Borough of Manhattan, and the first African-American woman appointed to the federal bench, Motley’s life-long commitment to equality for all aligns with ACS's mission to ensure that law is a force to improve the lives of all people.
ACS welcomes all student papers furthering and promoting a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy. Entrants are encouraged to view this topic broadly, and we welcome submissions on a variety of substantive areas. Examples of possible topics include:
- Civil Liberties
- Consumer Rights
- Criminal Justice
- Disability Rights
- Protection of Health, Safety, and the Environment
- Freedom of Speech
- Voting and Political Process
- Racial Equality
- Separation of Powers and Federalism
- Women's Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Freedom
- GLBT Rights
- Human Rights
- Labor Law
Papers will be judged on the quality of their analysis and writing. The judging committee will include federal judges and leading academics.
Deadline: Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by Friday, February 22, 2013. Papers postmarked after this date will not be considered. Additional details on submission will be posted here, as well as distributed to ACS chapters.
Eligibility: Any full-time or part-time law student currently enrolled in a J.D., LL.M. or S.J.D. program at a United States law school is eligible to participate. Only one entry per student is permitted. Multiple submissions will result in disqualification. All entrants must be a student member of the national American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. You may join online.
Format: Submissions must be original unpublished academic works by one author. The length must be between 25 and 50 pages, including footnotes. The text of the paper must be in double-spaced 12-point Courier font with 1-inch margins. Footnotes may be in single-spaced 10-point font.
Note: Please be aware that Penn Law School and its Journals operate under stricter plagiarism rules than many law schools. Entrants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these rules, which are available from Biddle Law Library.
Judging Process: All submissions will go through an initial screening process. All eligible submissions will be reviewed by three readers. The finalists from that process will then be reviewed by a panel of judges made up of federal judges, law professors, and other ACS members. This panel will select the top three papers among the finalists. Submissions will be judged on their depth of legal analysis, quality of writing, readiness for publication, originality (in topic selection and treatment), thoroughness of research, relevance to the development of progressive constitutional jurisprudence, and discussion of conclusions and future impact. The winners will be announced in May 2013.
Award: The author of the top submission will receive $3,000 and be eligible for publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. The authors of the two runner-up submissions will each receive $1,000. ACS will post winning submissions on its website. In addition, the three winning authors will be recognized at the 2013 ACS National Convention.
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee. However, all participants must be a student member of the national American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. You may join online at www.ACSLaw.org/join.
Previous Publication/Use: No paper previously published will be considered. However, papers currently being considered for publication, papers related to research done by the author and/or submitted to fulfill a course requirement or law journal credit requirements may be submitted. Submissions should not yet have undergone significant editing by journal editors, professors, or others. If a paper is currently being considered for publication, the author should consult the editors of the alternative journal to make sure that entry in this competition will not interfere with his/her opportunity for publication in that journal.
The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 22, 2013.