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International Law and Technology Writing Competition

Deadline extension: Submit your article before 31st December 2021.

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.

400+

Students from hundreds of universities worldwide have taken part.

£10,000+

Over ten thousand pounds have been awarded to students.

50,000+

Winning articles reach thousands of legal professionals worldwide.

Writing Competition 2022

Now open for submission! For the fifth 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 and a 3-month internship at one of the world’s leading legal technology firms, 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

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Law and Technology Writing Competition, we are focusing on the Past, Present and Future. Select one of the three categories below and start writing! You can submit up to one entry per category.

Law, technology and the past

A focus on what happened in the past, lessons learned and the influence of technology on law.

How did technology historically impact the law? Has technology been used to identify injustice? Are we now using technology to analyse historical data that will change the law? How did the creation of the internet change justice systems around the world? These are just examples of questions that your article could address, however, this category is open for interpretation. Your article could focus on lessons learned from the powers given to Heads of State, evolutionary legal arguments, or the dawn of law reporting and its impact on the law and technology.

Keywords: Industrial Revolution, Democracy, History, LGBT, Politics, World War, Evolution, Darwinism, Religion, Law Reports, Printing, Dawn of Digital Technology, World Wide Web, Telecommunication, Windrush, Aviation.

Law, technology and the present

A focus on what is happening today, and the role played by today’s technology and laws.

How do technology and the law unify today? With global catastrophes, such as the pandemic, how did the law change to support technology, or vice versa? Are we withholding technology because of laws? How can present-day communication change, supported by technology, drive changes in the law? These are just a few examples of questions that your article could address, however, this category is open for interpretation. Importantly, your article needs to be reflective of real-world events, technology and law, to ensure the reader can relate to your writing. Your article should focus on events happening in the present day, including within recent months, such as the pandemic, sporting events, new technologies and changes in the law.

Keywords: Pandemic, Medical technology, Emergency Legislation, Track and Trace, Governance, Supply Chain, Acts, Immigration, Communication, News, Zoom, Olympics, Education, Online Testing, Homeschooling, BLM.

Law, technology and the future

A focus on what could happen tomorrow on-wards, with real-life emerging technologies and law.

How will technology and the law coexist in the future? Are online courts here to stay? Will AI technology and algorithms be blocked by legislation? Will technology increase access to justice and knowledge of the law in the future? These are just a few examples of questions that your article could address, however, this category is open for interpretation. Importantly, your article needs to be reflective of real-world events, technology and law, to ensure the reader can relate to your writing. Your article can focus on the changes we have seen in the pandemic and the future implications of these measures, technologies that are emerging, and future laws.

Keywords: Online Courts, BlockChain, AI, Data, Privacy, CCTV, Hacking, Personalisation, Digital Literacy, Access to Justice, Globalisation.

“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

Important dates

Deadline extension: Submit your article before 31st December 2021.

Submissions open 1st October 2021 and close at midnight (UK time) on the 31st December 2021. The yearly shortlist will be revealed in February 2022, 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, and be offered a 3-month internship at one of the world’s leading legal research technology firms. 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.

Submission rules

Please read the submission instructions in full. Then complete the submission form attaching your entry and any additional information required. 

You must use your university email address, or attach proof of student status upon entry. This can include a dated official letter from your university or student identification, which must show an expiry date. If you are due to graduate before the end of the competition, please submit an alternative email address too. 

  • All entries must be submitted in a Word document format (.doc or .docx)
  • You must be over the age of 18 to enter the competition.
  • All entries must be in English and should not include any images.
  • All entries must include the title of the article within the Word document.
  • Please name your Word documents files appropriately. The suggested naming convention: Your name – Article Title 
  • Before submitting, you agree to have read and understood all terms and conditions.
  • Only submit original writing, that you have written for this competition. All entries will be subject to plagiarism checks.
  • All entries must be submitted before 23:59 UK time, on the 31st December 2021.

Are you ready to submit?

Please read the submission rules in full and complete the form below, ensuring to attached all required information.

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 this clear from the start: Why is this topic important, why should the reader care (and importantly keep on reading), and what are the key ‘takeaway’ from the article. 

Before you start writing, please read the guidance below, submission criteria and competition terms. You can submit one entry per category.

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

FAQs

I have just graduated, can I enter? Unfortunately at the time of submission (31st December 2021), you need to be a registered student.

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 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.

Acknowledgements and hall of fame

Overall Winner 2021

Anokhy Desai

University of Pittsburgh, USA 

Amending 230 for Public Safety

Overall Winner 2020

Malwina Anna Wojcik

University of Bologna, Italy

Machine-learnt bias? 

Overall Winner 2019

Kim Rust

University of Sheffield, UK

Block-chain reaction

Overall Winner 2018

Roisin Costello

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

The Tortoise and the Hare?

Best in category winners

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

Submission form

Please read the submission rules and terms in full before entering.

Submission topic

I agree to the competition and entry requirements and terms.

Yes, I agree

Submission file (Microsoft Word format)

Proof of student status (Required if submitting entry with a non-university email address)

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 excluding 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.

The competition closes at 23:59 GMT on 31st December 2021. Entries received after this 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 will be made on or before April 2022, with this date subject to change at any time. The winner and runners-up will be contacted by email after this date. 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.