Overview

Bert W. Levit Essay Contest
- Deadline & Information

Sponsored by: ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability and Long & Levit, LLP

Deadline for Submission:

ONLINE entries MUST be submitted by 11:59 PM CST on February 21, 2014.
MAILED entries MUST be postmarked by February 21, 2014.

Prize:

* Cash award of $5,000.

* All expense paid trip to the Spring 2014 National Legal Malpractice Conference in Boston, MA, on April 30 – May 2, 2014.

Sponsors

The Bert W. Levit Essay Contest is conducted by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability and the San Francisco law firm of Long & Levit LLP. The 2014 contest is administered and judged by a subcommittee designated by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability.

The Assignment

The 2014 Contest Essay Hypothetical involves questions about a law firm’s potential malpractice exposure when it relied upon a third-party vendor to provide document review services for a client, which ultimately resulted in the release of privileged documents.

Contest Rules

Essay Requirements

Entries should be written as scholarly essays. All entries must be prepared for this contest and not previously published. Each entrant is required to assign to the ABA all rights, title and interest in the essay submitted. It is the policy of the ABA, however, to release all assigned rights in all but the winning essay.

Essays should not exceed 3,000 words, including quoted matter and citations. Footnotes are not permitted and citations should be incorporated into the main text.

Entrants may seek general feedback on their draft essays from professors, colleagues, and the like. An essay submitted to the competition, however, must be entirely the entrant's own work product and may not be written or edited by any other person.

The essay should be typewritten double-spaced on 8 1/2" x 11" pages. The number of words on each page should be entered on the bottom right hand corner of each copy. The total number of words should be entered on the last page. In computing the number of words, all articles and prepositions should be counted. Count numbers and abbreviations as words. For example F.2d = 1 word; 746 F.2d 619 = 3 words.

Complete and sign the paper entry form (PDF) or you can use the Online Contest Entry & Agreement Form, providing your full name, address and telephone number as indicated.

Identification

For identification, an entry number will be assigned on receipt of the entry, and the entrant will be advised of the number. One cover sheet showing the name, address and telephone number of the entrant, together with the entrant’s title for the entry, should be submitted with the essay. No identification other than the title should appear on the essays themselves. The cover sheet will be removed before the essay is read by the judges to assure objectivity in the judging process.

Eligibility

The contest is open to Young Lawyers Division or Law Student Division members of the ABA, in good standing as of February 21, 2014, according to the membership records of the Association. Excluded from the competition are previous winners; current ABA officers and members of the Board of Governors; employees of the ABA or its sections, divisions and committees; and officers and employees of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Endowment). Only one essay may be submitted by each entrant, and no co-authored essays will be accepted.

Judging

Essays will be judged by a subcommittee designated by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability and the San Francisco law firm of Long & Levit LLP, whose decision will be final and whose names cannot be divulged. The ABA and the judges reserve the right to award no prize.

National Legal Malpractice Conference

The winner of the contest will receive round-trip coach airfare to the 2014 Spring American Bar Association National Legal Malpractice Conference in Boston, MA, lodging for up to two nights during the conference, and will be a guest at conference meals and events.

How to Submit Entries

Electronic Submission

If you would like to submit your entry electronically, you will need to fill out and submit the Contest Entry & Agreement Form (Online). Please email your essay separately to Marcia Yarbrough. Your essay should not exceed 2.5 MB and should be in one of the following formats: MS Word, Word Perfect, Adobe PDF, TXT, or RTF. Your entry must be submitted by 11:59 pm Central time on February 21, 2014.

Paper Submissions

If you would prefer to submit your entry by mail, you will need to download, print, and fill out the paper Contest Entry & Agreement Form (PDF). The completed form and two copies of your essay should be mailed first-class, without folding, on or before February 21, 2014. U.S. Postal Service postmark will determine mailing date. The materials may also be sent via an express delivery service, if they are posted on or before February 21, 2014.

Entries should be mailed to:

American Bar Association
LPL Levit Essay Contest
Marcia Yarbrough
FL 19
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Additional Information

For further information, contact Marcia Yarbrough or call (312) 988-5763.

Updated: 11/26/2013

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