About the Essay Competition

The Center for Legal & Court Technology (CLCT) of William & Mary Law School is organizing their 5th Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition! This popular competition is in its 5th year.


Maximum Number of Submissions

Total number of eligible submissions will be 50, to be determined on a first-come-first-served basis.

CLCT will not consider any other factor or any extenuating circumstances.


All current law students* worldwide are cordially invited to submit one paper, which must:  

  • Focus on at least one application of these technologies (e.g., Internet of Medical Things devices, facial recognition technology, autonomous systems, social media monitoring, etc.);
  • Explain whether regulation of the application is needed and to what extent; and
  • Propose means to regulate this application (proposals may range from traditional regulation to reliance on soft governance, and anything in between).

A submission is not required to put forward an original regulatory system; however, any novel, plausible and well-articulated proposals are likely to impress the judges. 


  • 1.1) The Competition is open to law students, in good standing, enrolled in a law degree (e.g., J.D. or LL.B.), a Master’s degree (e.g., LL.M.) or a doctoral degree (e.g., S.J.D./J.S.D or Ph.D.) at an ABA-accredited law school within the U.S., or at a foreign law school with equivalent accreditation, during the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • 1.2) Non-law degree seeking students enrolled in one course at an accredited law school during the 2021-2022 academic year may participate only as a joint author with a current law student who meets the criteria at Section 1.1.
  • 1.3) Students enrolled in law school part-time are welcome to participate.
  • 1.4) CLCT student staff may not participate.
  • 1.5) Winners of previous CLCT competitions may not participate.

Formatting Guidelines

  • Papers must be written in English.
  • Papers may not exceed 3,500 words, including titles, texts, citations, footnotes, appendices/annexes, bibliography, etc. Papers that exceed this limit will be disqualified.
  • Papers must be e-mailed as a word processing file type that can be easily opened with Microsoft Word.
  • Hard copies or other electronic formats (such as .PDF) will be disqualified.
  • The text of the submission must be single-spaced, justified paragraph formatting, and in twelve-point font.
  • Footnotes should be single-spaced and in ten-point font.
  • Pages should be numbered consecutively.
  • The total number of words must be entered on the Submission Form (please use Appendix 1 or Appendix 2 below). In computing the number of words, all words, including articles and prepositions, should be counted. Count numbers and abbreviations as words. For example, F.3d corresponds to 1 word; while 746 F.3d 913 corresponds to 3 words.

Submission Guidelines

  • Students must submit an unpublished paper written solely by the student(s).
  • Papers must not have received feedback or edits from any third parties, including faculty or instructors at the student’s institution. This must be expressly indicated on the Submission Form.
  • Papers that have been previously published or accepted for publication are not eligible.
  • Papers based on research or other work done in connection with law firm or other employment (whether full-time or part-time) are also not eligible.
  • Only one submission will be accepted per student. If CLCT receives more than one paper from the same author, none of the student’s submissions will be considered.
  • Co-Authorship: A paper co-authored by no more than 2 students is acceptable, provided the paper submitted is the original work of the two co-authors, and that both co-authors are currently-enrolled law students. If awarded a prize, co-authors will share it equally.
  • Papers should include a scholarly discussion of the topic and full citations to authorities. Citations may be embedded in text or set out in footnotes and should conform to the current edition of the Uniform System of Citation (Bluebook) for students at U.S. law schools, or the equivalent citation standard for students enrolled in foreign law schools.
  • Any form of plagiarism will result in the automatic disqualification of the author(s). CLCT reserves the right to inform the relevant university of the plagiarism offense.
  • By submitting the paper and official entry form, students agree that:
    • each has read these Rules and accepts the conditions stated herein;
    • each paper is an original piece of work written by the student (or is one co-authored by the two students), which has not received feedback or edits from anyone else, including faculty or instructors;
    • if co-authors are awarded a prize, they will share the prize money equally;
    • all winners will provide promptly, and in any event within 21 calendar days from the request, any information required by CLCT to arrange the payment of the cash prize, and understand that failure to do so may amount to forfeiture of the prize, following which another winner may be named;
    • all winners grant to William & Mary Law School, CLCT, and CISCO the right to reproduce, publish, and use the winning papers (with amendments, if necessary), as well as the winners’ names and photographs, without compensation; and,
    • each student releases William & Mary Law School, CLCT, and CISCO from any and all liability.
  • Winners understand that the prizes are subject to U.S. state and federal tax deductions, regardless of their nationality and residence. Cash prizes will only be paid in U.S. Dollars by way of check or bank transfer. Any fees that may be charged by the relevant bank will be deducted from the prize money.
  • CLCT and CISCO are not responsible for errors, for lost, late, or misdirected correspondence, or telecommunication, hardware, or software failures, including by reason of any glitch, computer virus, or other failure.
  • CLCT may cancel, modify, or terminate the Competition for any reason(s), including infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure, or technical difficulties of any kind.
  • This Competition is subject to all U.S. federal, state, and local laws and regulations. By entering, all participants agree that the Competition shall be governed by the laws of the State of Virginia, that the courts of Virginia shall have exclusive jurisdiction, and that Williamsburg, Virginia, shall be the venue for any dispute relating to or arising from the Competition.

Cash Prizes

The cash prizes, funded by Cisco Systems, Inc., are:

  • 1st Place: U.S $2,500 (1,89,607.38 INR)
  • 2nd Place: U.S $1,500 (1,13,764.42 INR)
  • 3rd Place: U.S $1,000 (75,842.95 INR)

The winners will also have the unique opportunity of presenting their papers to a selected audience of executives from Cisco Systems, Inc.

Students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to participate!

How to Submit?

Entries must be submitted via e-mail to essaycompetition@lists.wm.edu no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 10, 2022.

Questions should be directed to the same e-mail address.

Evaluation Criteria

The judges will use their complete discretion in selecting the winning papers, but will take into account these guiding principles (in no particular order):

  • Innovative legal issue(s) likely to grow out of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and related technologies;
  • Novelty and originality of the issue(s);
  • Original and thought-provoking discussion of the topic;
  • Legal analysis and reasoning;
  • Conciseness, clarity, and precision of the idea(s) put forward;
  • Consideration of legal and policy implications, and proposed solutions (if any);
  • Organization of the idea(s) and presentation;
  • Writing quality (grammar, syntax, and form);
  • Quality and use of research (including correct citations); and,
  • Compliance with these Rules.

Contact Details

Mail to: essaycompetition@lists.wm.edu

Disclaimer: All information posted by us on LexPeeps is true to our knowledge. But still it is suggested that you check and confirm things on your level.

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