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Edward C. Mendrzycki Award

Edward C. Mendrzycki Award

A Scholarly Writing Competition

Edward C. Mendrzycki Award

Edward C. Mendrzycki Award

Contest Overview

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 1, 2025.

MAILED entries MUST be postmarked by February 1, 2025.

Contest Mission

Since 1998, the ABA's Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability has hosted a scholarly writing contest for law students and young lawyers encouraging scholarship and innovative research and writing in the area of legal malpractice law, professional liability insurance, and loss prevention. The Committee's writing competition has long been sponsored by San Francisco law firm Long & Levit, LLP.

Mendrzycki means courage. Edward "Ed" Mendrzycki was an integral member of the Standing Committee and served as Chair of the Committee from 2001 to 2004. He dedicated his legal career to the betterment of both the lawyers' professional liability field, as well as the work of the Committee. He earned a national reputation for excellence, especially through his work with the Attorneys' Liability Assurance Society (ALAS). In 2015, the Committee renamed the contest in his honor to carry on his commitment to encouraging the betterment of the lawyers' professional liability field and the law of lawyering.


The winner of the 2025 Edward C.  Mendrzycki Award will receive:

  1. A cash prize of $5,000.00
  2. Round-trip airfare and two-night stay at the Omni Charlotte Hotel to attend the Spring 2025 National Legal Malpractice Conference, in Charlotte, North Carolina!
  3. Complimentary registration to attend all educational programming sessions at the Spring 2025 National Legal Malpractice Conference!


The Edward C. Mendrzycki Award is conducted by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability in conjunction with and with the gracious support of the San Francisco law firm of Long & Levit LLP. The 2025 contest is administered and judged by a subcommittee designated by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability.

The Assignment

This year's hypothetical involves multiple ethical and professional liability concerns that arise when a law firm adopts an artificial intelligence software platform to assist its lawyers in providing legal services to its clients.

Contest Rules


The contest is open to Young Lawyers Division or Law Student Division members of the American Bar Association, in good standing as of February 1, 2024, as indicated in 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. No co-authored essays will be accepted.

Essay Requirements

Entries should be written as scholarly essays. All entries must be prepared originally for this contest and must not be previously published in any format. 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.

Entrants must use the American Bar Association's Model Rule of Professional Conduct for their essays.

The essay should be typed, double-spaced on 8 ½" x 11" paper, with 1-inch margins on all sides. The number of words on each page should be entered in the bottom right-hand corner of that page. 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.

Each entrant must complete and sign either a paper entry form or an electronic entry form, and provide their full name, address, and telephone number as indicated.


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. For identification, an entry number will be assigned on receipt of the entry, and the entrant will be advised of the number. No identification other than the title of the entry should appear on the essay itself. The cover sheet will be removed before the essay is read by the judges to assure objectivity in the judging process.


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. Their decision is final and their names cannot be divulged. The ABA and the judging subcommittee reserve the right to award no prize.

National Legal Malpractice Conference

The winner of the contest will receive round-trip coach airfare to the American Bar Association Spring 2024 National Legal Malpractice Conference in New Orleans Louisiana, lodging for up to two nights during the conference, and will be a guest at conference meals and events.

Additional Information

For further information, please contact:

Jay Reyes
[email protected]
(312) 988-5754

How to Submit Entries

Electronic Submissions

If you would like to submit your entry electronically, you will need to fill out and submit the Contest Entry & Agreement Form online with your essay attached. Your essay should not exceed 2.5 MB and should be in one of the following formats: Word, PDF, TXT, RTF or HTML. Your entry must be submitted by 11:59 pm CST on February 1, 2024.

Paper Submissions

If you would like to submit your entry by mail, you will need to download, print, and fill out one of our paper Contest Entry & Agreement Forms. The completed form and two copies of your essay must be mailed first-class, without folding, postmarked on or before February 1, 2024. The U.S. Postal Service postmark will determine the mailing date. The materials may also be sent via an express delivery service (FedEx, UPS, etc.) and shipped on or before February 1, 2024.

Entries should be mailed to:

American Bar Association
LPL Edward C. Mendrzycki Award
Attn: Jay Reyes
321 North Clark Street, FL  20
Chicago, IL 60654