Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

Law Student Writing Competitions

Thank you to all who entered SEER's law student writing competitions. Winning authors are listed below. All 2020 writing competitions have closed. Information about 2021 competitions will be posted on this page in late 2020.

2020 Writing Competitions

Public Land Law and Policy Competition

Theme: Demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance relating to the topic of the role of public lands and policy. The topic is not confined to any particular type of public lands issue. Submissions may advocate a position, educate the reader, or analyze one or more cases.

2020 Winner:

To Bolt or Not to Bolt: A Common Sense Framework for Climbing Regulations
Michael Sammartino, University of Maryland Francis Kind Carey School of Law

Energy Law Writing Competition


Theme: Demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance on any issue related to energy law.

2020 Winners:

First Place:
Can State Sovereign Immunity Bar Eminent Domain For Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines?
Erin McLaughlin, University of Colorado Law School

Second Place:
Reenergizing the Private Nondelegation Doctrine
Nicholas Wallace, Stanford Law School

Third Place
Net-Metering in Georgia: Solar Panels or Smoke and Mirrors?
Jacob Weber, University of Georgia School of Law

Law students are encouraged to enter SEER writing competitions as a way to engage with the Section.

Law students are encouraged to enter SEER writing competitions as a way to engage with the Section.

2019 Writing Competitions

Endangered Species Writing Competition

Theme: Demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance on any issue related the Endangered Species Act, wildlife law, and natural resources.

2019 Competition Winners

First Place:
Putting the Habitat in Critical Habitat
Lauren Sherman, New York University School of Law

Second Place:
Taking Climate Risks into Account Before Delisting
Ann Brethour, University of New Mexico School of Law

Third Place:
Redwoods Rising: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Logging
Mary Haley Ousley, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Energy Law Writing Competition


Theme: Demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance on any issue related to energy law.

2019 Competition Winners

First Place:
Sparks Are Flying: The Growing Tension Between Energy Storage and Fire Safety Stakeholders
Abi Christoph, University of North Carolina School of Law

Second Place:
Xcel Energy and Traditional Cost-of-Service Ratemaking: De-risking Investment For A Carbon-Free Electricity Future
Laurel Quinto, University of Colorado Law School

Third Place:
Residential Demand Response in Wholesale Markets
Rujeko Muza, Georgetown Law

Public Land Law and Policy Competition

Theme: Demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance relating to the topic of the role of public lands and policy. The topic is not confined to any particular type of public lands issue. Submissions may advocate a position, educate the reader, or analyze one or more cases.

2019 Winner:

Winds of Change: Wind Energy on Tribal Lands
Rujeko Muza, Georgetown Law

Water Resources Writing Competition

Theme: Demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance on any issue related to water resources law. This would include, but not be limited to, issues under the federal Clean Water Act, state water laws, or any relevant case law relating to either federal or state water law issues. 

First Place:
The Stream of Commerce
Matthew LaRue, Vanderbilt Law School

Second Place:
The Jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act Includes Some Discharges Into Groundwater
Heather Foxx, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Third Place:
A Cap-and-Trade System to Cure Minnesota’s Agricultural Drainage Decisionmaking
Zachariah Sibley, University of Minnesota Law School