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ABA Criminal Justice Section

William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition


This Competition is sponsored by Criminal Justice (“Section”) of the American Bar Association (“ABA”), 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 (the “Sponsor”). The goal of the Competition is to encourage law students to become involved in the Section. It is also intended to attract students to the Criminal Justice practice field, and to encourage scholarship in this field. Each entrant must follow the rules of the competition detailed herein.


The contest is open to students who, on the date the entry is submitted, attend and are in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school within the United States and its possessions. Membership in the Criminal Justice Section is not a requirement. Entrants must be at least 21 years of age and legal permanent residents or citizens of the United States. Employees, officers, directors of the ABA and members of their immediate families are not eligible.


In the last decade, courts have addressed the constitutional limitations on using GPS trackers, cell-site simulators, geo-fencing, facial recognition, license plate readers, and drones for crime detection and prosecution. Now, artificial intelligence is at the forefront of police work, as many departments use AI algorithms to aid investigations. For example, AI facilitates “predictive policing”—attempting to identify neighborhoods where criminal activity is likely to occur. AI can even identify people who may be linked to or suspects in an investigation. Persons so identified, or who reside in or visit targeted crime “hotspots,” may become unsuspecting targets of a police investigation or subject to greater law enforcement scrutiny.

How does the use of AI-generated information implicate constitutional safeguards on the reasonableness of searches and seizures? Should the fact that this information is gathered using computerized applications and statistical analyses instead of by traditional policework demand different or additional constitutional standards? When and how might reliance on AI cross the line into unconstitutional conduct? What facts or circumstances can or should make a difference in litigating the reliance on AI-generated information? You may also consider how defense attorneys could use that database.

Clear, persuasive, and original analytical reasoning that is well-supported with concrete examples and references is essential and will weigh heavily in the determination of the contest winner.


A winning entry will contain an original discussion of the selected topic, will be substantively accurate and supported by citations, and will be grammatically correct, concise, well-reasoned, and clearly written. Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: (1) writing quality; (2) analysis and legal reasoning; (3) originality; (4) quality and use of research; and (5) compliance with these Rules. The Section reserves the right not to award a prize if, in the judgment of the Criminal Justice magazine editorial board’s judging panel, no entry meets these conditions. The decision of the editorial board is final.

NOTIFICATION OF WINNER: The winner will be notified by August 31, 2024, 11:59 pm CST. If a potential winner does not respond within thirty (30) days after ABA’s first attempt to contact him or her, or if the contact is returned as non-deliverable, the potential winner forfeits all rights to be named as winner or receive a prize, and an alternate winner may be chosen.


The winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize that may be presented at an agreed-upon CJS event with approved transportation costs not to exceed $800 to be covered by the Section. (The winner is solely responsible for taxes on both the cash prize and reimbursed travel.)

The winner will be required to submit a completed IRS Form W-9, affidavit of eligibility, tax acknowledgment and liability release for tax purposes as a condition to receiving the cash prize. All forms must be completed and returned via email to Mitzy Reid at [email protected] within ten (10) business days of receipt, or prizes will be considered forfeited and another winner may be named.

The decision of the Sponsor is final.  In addition, the winner’s law school will receive a plaque from the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section. At the sole discretion of the editorial board, the winning entry may be selected for publication in Criminal Justice magazine, subject to editing. The Sponsor may substitute a prize of equal or greater value in its sole discretion. Prizes are non-transferable and cannot be substituted by the winner. If his or her entry is selected for publication, the winner will be required to sign the standard ABA copyright agreement warranting the entry’s originality and granting the ABA first publication rights. Please note: the ABA must have the first right of publication of the selected essay.

ALL ENTRANTS: Receive one year’s free full membership in the Criminal Justice Section.ce Section.


CONDITIONS: Only original and unpublished papers are eligible. Papers prepared for law school credit are eligible provided they are the entrant’s original work. Jointly authored papers are not eligible. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to have their work reviewed and critiqued by a faculty member or practicing lawyer, although the submission must be the student’s own work product. Section officers, section staff, Criminal Justice magazine editorial board members, and selection committee members shall not participate in the review/critique process. A student may submit only one entry per contest year.

FORMAT: Entries cannot exceed 4,000 words, including titles, text, and citations. Entries must be submitted in Word as an e-mail attachment. Entries should reflect the style and format of Criminal Justice magazine, including citations that are embedded in text. Entries with footnotes or endnotes will not be accepted.

Citations must conform to the 20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.

SUBMISSION ALL ENTRIES: Two title pages are required. The first title page must include:

(1)         title of paper

(2)         author’s name (and the name of reviewing faculty member/practicing lawyer, if applicable)

(3)         telephone number(s), mailing address(es), and e-mail address(es) where author can be reached June–August 2024

(4)         name of law school

(5)         year of expected graduation

(6)         date submitted for academic credit (if applicable)

(7)         entrant’s personal certification of good standing at the law school.

The second title page should include only:

(1)   title of paper

(2)   last four (4) digits of the author’s phone number.


All entries must be received by the editor no later than July 1, 2024, 11:59 pm CST. Faxed entries will not be accepted. The sponsors are not responsible for late, lost, or misdirected entries, or for computer errors or technical failures.

SEND ENTRIES to Erin Remotigue, Editor, Criminal Justice Magazine, American Bar Association, via electronic submission by e-mail to [email protected].


RELEASE: By participating, each entrant agrees to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, and releases and discharges the ABA, subsidiary and affiliated entities, and each of their respective officers, directors, members, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively “Sponsor”) from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with this promotion, including without limitation legal claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages, demands or actions of any kind (including without limitation personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light) (collectively “Claims”). Except where prohibited, acceptance of a prize constitutes a release by any winner of the Sponsor of any and all Claims in connection with the administration of this promotion and the use, misuse or possession of any prize. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Sponsor is not responsible for errors or for lost, late, or misdirected mail or email, or telecommunication or hardware or software failures, including by reason of any bug or computer virus or other failure. Sponsor may cancel, modify or terminate the promotion if it is not capable of completion as planned, including by reason of infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure or technical difficulties of any kind.

WARRANTY AND REPRESENTATION: By submitting an entry to the ABA CJS Magazine, the author warrants and represents that the work is original, that he or she has included no material in violation of any rights of any other person or entity, and that the work does not represent another's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions without appropriate credit or attribution. A finding of plagiarism in an entry will automatically disqualify the entry

LICENSE/GRANT OF RIGHTS: By entering, the winning entrant consents to the publication of her/his entry by the ABA, understands that such publication is not guaranteed, and grants the ABA the following rights: (1) the exclusive worldwide right of first publication of their entry in any and all ABA media or form of communication; (2) the non-exclusive worldwide right, in ABA’s sole discretion, to use, transcribe, publish reproduce, distribute, sell (as part of an ABA publication) or display the entry, alone or in conjunction with other materials; (3) the right to edit the essay to conform to the publication’s standards of style, technological requirements, language, grammar and punctuation, provided the meaning of the essay is not materially altered; and (4) the non-exclusive worldwide right to use the winner’s name and likeness in connection with the essay or this Competition, in each case, without further compensation. Additionally, the winning entrant must execute a separate publication agreement giving the ABA the publication rights enumerated above and the right to use the article for any other purpose related to the ABA mission. If the winner fails to sign the agreement within ten (10) business days of receipt, the prize will be considered forfeited and another winner may be named.


For a list of prize winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope by December 1, 2024 to the Section of Criminal Justice, American Bar Association, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

ODDS OF WINNING: Chances of winning may vary depending on the number of entries. However, Sponsor reserves the right not to award any prize if the judges determine that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit selection that year.

LAWS AND REGULATIONS: This contest is governed by U.S. law and all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. By entering, all participants agree that the competition shall be governed by the laws of the State of Illinois, that the courts of Illinois shall have exclusive jurisdiction, and that Cook County, Illinois shall be the venue for any dispute or litigation relating to or arising from the competition. Void where prohibited by law.

OPT-OUT OPTION: Any individual may elect to opt out of receiving future contest mailings by calling the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221.

PRIVACY POLICY/DATA COLLECTION: Information provided by entrants in connection with this sweepstakes is subject to Sponsor’s privacy policy, available at

SPONSOR: American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.


E-mail or call the editor at (312) 988-6089. For more information about the Section, programs for law students, and Criminal Justice magazine, visit

Entries will not be returned, though authors retain their rights to their work.


2023: Nina-Simone Edwards, Georgetown University Law Center

2022: Blade Allen, University of New Mexico School of Law

2021: Erik Zimmerman, University of Chicago Law School 

2020: Kent Steinberg, University of Virginia School of Law 

2019: Michael dePascale Jr., Roger Williams University School of Law 

2018: Michael Lynn, the John Marshall Law School

2017: Olivia Castillo, University of Miami School of Law