2014 Law Student Essay Contest

Important Rules & Information:

The use of technology in today’s law practice can and does present new challenges and risks for attorneys in small firms, as well as for solo practitioners representing clients involved in litigation. Due to technology, many traditional law practices have now evolved into virtual law practices.  It is important for attorneys to understand how virtual law offices operate and how inappropriate use of technology can help cause legal malpractice claims as well as how proper use of technology can help prevent those claims.

The purpose of this contest is to encourage law students to write essays about: 1) what a virtual law practice is; 2) what are some malpractice risks related to a virtual law practice; and 3) how technology can lead to or prevent legal malpractice claims in a virtual law office. Discussion may also address any relevant ethical considerations attorneys practicing in a virtual law practice should be aware of and how ethical issues may lead to legal malpractice claims, especially due to the proper or improper use of technology.

Essay Requirements:

All entries must be prepared for this contest or for academic purposes and not previously published in print or on the Internet.  All entries must include a digital photograph for use in the event the entry is selected as the contest winner. Each entrant is required to assign to FLMIC and the other contest sponsors all rights, title and interest in the essay and digital photograph submitted.  It is the policy of FLMIC and the other sponsors, however, to release all assigned rights in all but the winning essay and notify the author of any permissions given to third parties for reprint or otherwise publish.

The essay should be a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 pages, including citations appearing in Blue Book format as endnotes.  Essays will be judged based on framing and analysis of the issue(s) discussed, research completed, solutions or practices suggestions and writing style.  The essay should be typewritten and double spaced on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.  A cover sheet should be included that contains the entrant’s name, address, telephone number, title and law school status.  No identification other than the title should appear on the essay itself.  The cover sheet will be removed before the essay is read to assure objectivity in the judging process.


The contest is open to all students enrolled in a Florida law school as of the deadline date or during the prior academic year. Essays must be submitted to FLMIC by the deadline date, which is April 1st 2014 by 5 p.m.


Essays will be judged by a committee of at least three individuals, including a representative of the YLD of The Florida Bar, FLMIC, the HenryLatimerCenter for Professionalism and the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section of the Florida Bar, who are unrelated to the entrants.


The winner of the essay contest will receive: 1) a $750 cash award; 2) a complimentary registration to the 8th Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference; 3) hotel accommodations for the Conference provided by The Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism; 4) recognition by the various sponsoring organizations at various events; and 5) submission of the essay by the Young Lawyers Division to The Florida Bar Journal for consideration for future publication in the June 2014 issue.

The student awarded an Honorable Mention prize will receive: 1) a $350 cash award; 2) recognition by the various sponsoring organizations at various events; and 3) submission of the essay by the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section to their newsletter editor for consideration for future publication in the Section’s fall 2013 newsletter.

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