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International Law and Technology Writing Competition 2023

Submissions for the 2023 competition are now open!

This annual competition offers you the opportunity to stand out from your peers, enhance your employability, and have your work published to an international audience of legal professionals.

Deadline extended – Please submit your entries before midnight on the 9th of December 2023

Register today

400+

Students from hundreds of universities worldwide have taken part.

£10,000+

Over ten thousand pounds has been awarded to students.

50,000+

Winning articles reach thousands of legal professionals worldwide.

Writing Competition 2023

For the sixth year in a row, the vLex International Writing Competition invites students from around the world to submit a 1000-word, blog-style article on one of three topics. The overall winner will receive a grand prize of £1,500, alongside the publication of their entry to a global legal audience. Additionally, each runner-up will be awarded £250 each for Best in Category.

Quick links: Categories, Prizes, Important Dates, Submission Rules

Three new categories

Select one of the three categories below and start writing! You can submit up to one entry per category.

Law, technology and sports

The world of sports has many legal disputes across countries and cultures, from legislation overseeing online sports betting, the introduction of transgender sports laws, disputes over copyright and intellectual property, to legal battles between teams. This topic, therefore, gives you a wide range of areas to focus on, such as the development of laws for sport, and the role that technology has played in this; the use of laws or precedents to support the use of technology within a specific game, the concern of human rights in relation to large sporting events, super injunctions, or the legal concerns of the wider sporting community and fandom, where technology is used as evidence to support research, claims or used as evidence. However, you choose to interpret this topic, ensure your article highlights and discusses the connection between sports, law and technology. Sports can include those popularised, such as football and baseball, through motorsports, surfing, karate, and other internationally recognised sports.

Keywords: defamation, betting, discrimination, intellectual property, representation, contracts, human rights, Olympics, sports, injunctions, Paris 2024, IOC, Paralympics.

Law, technology and climate

Technology is frequently used to monitor environmental changes, provide forecasts and analyse historical events. In turn, laws, regulations and policies have been proposed and created to help maintain our environment. From the introduction of surveillance to monitor car congestion in city centres, accompanied by laws and penalties designed to decrease pollution, through to the introduction of climate laws which set out to help countries reach climate neutrality, technology has a prominent role to play in the ever-changing relationships between the law and the environment. Whether you are looking to write about overfishing, health pandemics, climate change, local recycling schemes, or the introduction of low-emission zones, all articles must highlight and discuss the connection between climate or environment, law and technology.

Keywords: climate change, pandemics, sustainability, weather, united nations, environmental regulations, fossil fuel, greenwashing, COP26, interference, emissions.

Law, technology and crypto

For a number of years now, crypto has been hitting the headlines, but has the law caught up with this new currency? From ATMs that now offer cryptocurrencies, to celebrities either creating their own, or being sued for miss advertising these products on their social media channels, this is an exciting and precedented time for the law surrounding this new global currency. For articles on crypto, you are encouraged to explore how the law is navigating technologically-driven series of currencies, how new regulations are being brought in to help manage crypto, and the impact it has had, legally, on the people who interact with it.

Keywords: lawsuit, social media, settlement, bitcoin, blockchain, SEC, dogecoin, corporate transparency, antitrust, competition, reforms, transactions, MiCA.

“The vLex competition was a great opportunity for me to develop my writing skills and overcome a personal hurdle of making technical issues more digestible. Working on a more concise piece motivated me to continue participating in writing projects and competitions through the school year, and led to prize money and a fall semester internship that aligned with my interests. I would recommend any student who’s interested in technology law to participate!”

Anokhy Desai, University of Pittsburgh, Winner 2021

Important dates

Deadline extended – Please submit your entries before midnight on the 9th of December 2023

Submissions open on the 7th of October 2022 and close at midnight (UK time) on the 9th of December 2022. The yearly shortlist will be revealed in February 2023, and the final winners will be announced in April 2022. All dates are subject to change.

Prizes and publication

The overall winner will receive a grand prize of £1,500. Three runners-up who place best in each of the three categories will receive a cash prize of £250 each. The overall winner, runners-up and notable entries will also have their articles published online and shared with thousands of legal practitioners worldwide. Previous winning articles have been published by Legal Cheek, Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, Artificial Lawyer, Legal Information Management, and many more publications.

Submission rules

Please read all of the rules and guidelines before submitting your article.

You can submit anytime within the submission period, until the deadline (23:59 UK time, on the 9th of December 2022). 

 

Formatting rules

  • All entries must be single-authored
  • Only submit original writing that you have written for this competition. All entries will be subject to plagiarism checks
  • All entries must be in English
  • Articles should not include any images
  • All articles need to be unbiased
  • You can only submit one entry per category
  • All articles need to be within 10% of the suggested word count
  • Referencing: We recommend you simply use footnotes to reference your sources, or Harvard referencing where required. OSCOLA is also acceptable
  • All entries must be submitted in a Word document format (.doc or .docx)
  • Ensure your name and the title of the article are placed at the top of your article
  • Please name your file appropriately. The suggested naming convention: Your full name – Article Title, e.g. JohnSmith-TheArtofLaw.docx

 

Who can enter the competition

  • You must be over the age of 18 to enter the competition
  • All current students and recent graduates can enter
  • Proof of student status will be required. The easiest way to do this is to submit your article using your university email address or attach alternative proof of your student status
  • Recent graduates can enter the competition. You must have graduated within 2022, and be able to provide proof such as a dated graduation certificate. Please attach this along with your entry
  • International students, from all countries, can enter the competition
  • Students or graduates from any discipline can enter; you do not need to have studied law

When you’re ready to submit your entry, please follow these steps:

To submit your entry, please email us at marketinglondon@vlex.com with the following information:

– Email subject line: #WC2023 Writing Competition Submission
– Please include your full name, university and the topic of your submission (Sport, Climate or Crypto)
– Please attach your entry in a Word format (.doc or .docx)
– If you are emailing from a personal email, and not a university or college email, please attach any proof of student status or graduation certificate.

Don’t forget you can find previous submissions and inspiration on the vLex blog

“The competition offers an exceptional opportunity to expose your writing to an 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.”

Roisin Costello, Trinity College Dublin, 2018 Winner

Register for the competition

Select the button below to register your interest, receive information on how to submit your entry and keep up to date with the competition.

Register here

Additional guidance

Importantly, your article needs to consider both the law, technology and the key topic. Your article can answer important questions for your chosen area, such as, how does technology impact the law? Or how did technology help drive change in the law where legislative gaps once existed? 

Your article needs to be about real-world events and cannot be entity fiction. If fiction is to play a role in your article – whether used to demonstrate a scenario or potential future event, ensure the reader understands how that connects with what is happening in the real world. 

Data, research and examples are good. Some of our best and winning articles give a clear indication as to why the topic they are writing about is important, using data, research and examples. The reader of your article may not know the topic as well as you do, hence why it is important for you to make clear from the start why the topic is important, why the reader should care (and importantly keep on reading), and what the key ‘takeaway’ from the article should be.

Need some inspiration? Read all the past winning articles on the vLex Blog.

FAQs

I have just graduated, can I enter? Yes, you will need to have graduated within 2022 and have your certificate as proof.

Do I need to be a law student to enter? No, you can be a student from any discipline to enter the competition. 

Can articles have dual authorship? All articles must be written by a single author and should not contain any content unless correctly referenced.

What reference style should be used? Remember this is a blog-style article, where links are usually used directly with the text. If you wish to use a reference style please use Harvard or OSCOLA.

Can I add images or appendices? Unfortunately, no images or appendices can be included in your articles.

What can I use as proof of student/graduate status? Please submit your article using your university or college email. If you do not have one, please attached a dated letter from your university confirming your student status, or a valid student identification with an expiry date visible, or a graduation certificate.

Acknowledgements and hall of fame

Overall winners

2022

Rahul Vyan Nayar, National University of Singapore, for Thaler, Artificial Intelligence and the Law

2021

Anokhy Desai, University of Pittsburgh, USA, for Amending 230 for Public Safety

2020

Malwina Anna Wojcik, University of Bologna, Italy, for Machine-learnt bias? 

2019

Kim Rust, University of Sheffield, UK, for Block-chain reaction

2018

Roisin Costello, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, for The Tortoise and the Hare?

Best in category winners

Brian Collins Ocen, Makerere University, Uganda – Winner of the Future category, 2022

Joshua Neaman, City, University of London – Winner of the Past category, 2022

Malcolm Superville, The Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad and Tobago – Winner of the Present category, 2022

Keshinro Oluwalani Deborah, The University of Lagos – Movement, Law & Technology, 2021

Sara Kachwalla, BPP University – Influence, Law & Technology, 2021

Malcolm Superville, The University of the West Indies – Money, Law & Technology, 2021

Armin Amirsolimani, University College London – Access to justice and technology, 2020

Janis Wong, University of St Andrews – Social media, data and privacy, 2020

Alicia Lim, London School of Economics – Technology and the future of legal practice, 2020

Eleanor De of City, University of London – Access to Justice and Technology, 2019

Iphigenia Fisentzou, BPP University – Social Media, Technology and the Law, 2019

Walter Myer, University of Oxford – The Future of Legal Technology, 2019

Patrick Alexander Hum, London School of Economics, 2018

Secil Bilgic, Harvard University, 2018

Jae Jun Kim, University of Auckland, 2018

Past judges

Dr. Shaun Wallace, Barrister and The Dark Destroyer on ITV1’s The Chase

Robert Rinder, Barrister, Presenter and Columnist for The Sun and the Evening Standard

The Secret Barrister, Barrister and author of the award-winning No. 1 bestseller The Secret Barrister

Richard Tromans, Founder and CEO of Tromans Consulting and Artificial Lawyer

Aishah Hussain, Reporter for LegalCheek, the most read legal website in the UK

Emily Allbon, Senior Lecturer, Director of Mooting, Assistant Dean Student Experience and Communication, City, University of London

Dr Liz Dowthwaite, Research Fellow in Horizon Digital Economy at the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub at the University of Nottingham

Prof. Roger V. Skalbeck, Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services for University of Richmond School of Law

Nicole Allaband, Editor-in-Chief, Richmond Journal of Law & Technology

James Williams, Annual Survey & Symposium Editor, Richmond Journal of Law & Technology

Ilya Mirov, Senior Articles Editor, Richmond Journal of Law & Technology

Eli Hill, Annual Survey & Symposium Editor, Richmond Journal of Law & Technology

Ruth Bird, Former Bodleian Law Librarian, University of Oxford, and former Vice President of the International Association of Law Libraries

Tom Bangay, Director of Content, Juro

David F. Wills, Editor, Legal Information Management (LIM); Squire Law Librarian, University of Cambridge

Masoud Gerami, Managing Director for vLex Global Markets

Aidan Hawes, Head of Commercial Development, vLex Global Markets

Nicola Stephenson, Head of Training, vLex Global Markets

Terms and conditions

Everything you need to know to enter The vLex International Law and Technology Writing Competition.

The Law & Technology International Writing Competition (the “competition” and “LITWC” ) is open to students aged 18 and over, with the exception of employees of vLex, their family members, or anyone else connected to the competition. All information detailing how to enter forms part of these terms and conditions.

It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final, and that the entrant agrees to abide by these rules. Submission of an entry will be taken as an acceptance of these terms and conditions. 

To enter the competition, you must write a blog-style article of no more than 1,000 of your own words on one of the proposed topics. Please do not include any pictures. Entries with photos, diagrams or illustrations may be excluded.

A maximum of one entry in each category is permitted per entrant. You may only enter each individual submission in one category, but you may write another submission about a different topic for a different category. See below for prize terms.

Submissions should be entered using the form provided on the competition page in Word format only. You must state which of the categories you are entering, and must include your full name, email address, university or college and country of residence. Failure to include valid information, or exclude information, may void your entry.

Entries must be the original work of the individual submitting them and must not have been published before in any other publication (or on any website). They must not contain any third-party materials and/or content that you do not have permission to use, must not promote your own or third-party goods or services, or include any trademarks and must not promote inappropriate or dangerous behaviour, or otherwise be obscene, defamatory, distasteful, offensive or in breach of any confidentiality obligations owed by you to any third party. Joint submissions are not allowed.

If you have any questions about how to enter or otherwise in connection with the competition, please email us at hello@vlex.com with “International Law & Technology Writing Competition” in the subject line.

Entries received after the close date and time will not be considered. vLex reserves the right to extend the closing date for a reasonable period of time where an insufficient number of entries have satisfied the entry and judging criteria.

You own the copyright to your submission as its author. However, by submitting an entry to the competition you grant a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual license to vLex and their partners to feature any or all of the submission in any of its publications, its websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition listed on this page or otherwise. You also grant vLex and their partners the right to use your name, academic institution and country of residence for the sole purpose of identifying you as the author of your submission and/or as a winner or runner-up of the competition. This also applies to the authors of shortlisted entries.

We may disqualify your competition entry for the following reasons: your entry does not comply with these terms and conditions; you are not eligible to enter the competition; you are unable to provide proof of your student status; you cannot be contacted. In the event of disqualification(s), we may reselect winners in accordance with the selection and/or judging processes.

Should you wish to withdraw from the competition for any reason, please email us at hello@vlex.com.

The competition will be judged by a panel of representatives of vLex. The judges will choose one winning entry for the competition, and one runner-up in each of the three categories.  The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The overall winner will receive a prize by BACS and the three runners-up will each receive a prize by BACS or other suitable payment method approved by vLex, and have their submission published in the company newsletter, on the blog section of the vLex and vLex Justis websites, and published by vLex partner(s) in accordance with the benefits stated on this page. This could include publishing your entry on their website, in their publications and more. 

Shortlisted entries may also have their submission posted on the blog section of the vLex and vLex Justis websites and/or by partners. All shortlisted entries will be made available to partners for publication.

Each entrant is only eligible for a single prize. This excludes the overall winner from also winning a runners-up prize with a second submission or an individual entrant from winning multiple runners-up prizes with a second or third submission.vLex reserves the right to substitute the prizes with other prizes of similar value.

vLex reserves the right at any time to modify these terms and conditions, or to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its reasonable control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of vLex in all matters relating to the competition is final and no correspondence will be entered into. vLex will not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations relating to this competition where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed under the laws of England and Wales, and entrants to the competition submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

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