The 2018 American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Writing Competition

Since 2005, the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (ACEBCE) has sponsored a writing competition for law students, to encourage them to learn about employee benefits. Papers may be on any topic in the employee benefits field. Up to two monetary prizes are offered, one funded by Susan Serota, in honor of her father, Sidney M. Perlstadt, an Emeritus Fellow, and the other funded by the College for 2016 by Dianne Bennett, in honor of Al (Alvin D.) Lurie, an Emeritus Fellow. Winners also receive an employee benefits treatise published by BNA Books. If deemed suitable by the editors, one or more of the winning papers may be published by the BNA Pension and Benefits Reporter or in the BNA Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal.

The College’s writing contest award winners are selected each year by the ACEBC Writing Contest Committee from among eligible submissions. Submissions have been received from a wide variety of law schools from across the nation.

Each year, the eligible submissions are circulated among a group of initial reviewers consisting of ACEBC Writing Committee members and other ACEBC Fellows who volunteer to perform that task. Each initial reviewer provides his or her evaluation on the papers on score sheets based upon the factors identified in the contest rules. Those factors are as follows: (i) Analysis (i.e., depth and creativity of legal analysis); (ii) Research (i.e., thoroughness of legal research); (iii) Writing (i.e., organization/writing style); (iv) Difficulty (i.e., difficulty of subject matter); (v) Policy (i.e., consideration of policy implications); (vi) Other factors; and (vii) Overall impression.

Three to five finalists are selected based on the committee’s evaluation of the initial reviewer’s comments. All of the papers selected as finalists are reviewed by the entire committee. Each committee member submits a score sheet ranking the finalist’s submission according to the same factors described above. The Chair compiles a composite score sheet showing the rankings of all committee members. This composite score sheet forms the basis for the committee’s final deliberations.

The writing competition has been successful in many ways but one measure is that several of the competitors have gone on to practice employee benefit law after their graduation from law school.

SUBJECT: Any topic in the field of employee benefits law.

OPEN TO: Any J.D. and graduate (L.L.M. or S.J.D.) law students enrolled at any time between August 15, 2017 and August 15, 2018.

UP TO TWO PRIZES: Alvin D. Lurie Memorial Award $1,500 and Sidney M. Perlstadt Memorial Award $1,500.

For competition rules and additional details, please click here.

The submission deadline is June 1, 2018.