Florida Justice Association Research & Education Foundation Essay Contest – Deadline is 11:59 P.M. March 31, 2021

Official Rules

Who: Eligible contestants include second-year and third-year Florida law students. Eligibility to participate in this Contest or to win prizes is limited to an individual who at the time of entry:

  • at least 18 years of age;
  • a legal resident of the United States; and
  • a student who is enrolled in a Florida law school, at the time of submission.
  • Contestant need not be a member of the Florida Justice Association (FJA).
  • Limit 1 entry and prize per contestant.
  • Employees, officers, directors, contractors, agents and representatives of the FJA and their immediate families and household members are ineligible to enter the Contest.
  • The Foundation’s determination of eligibility, in its sole discretion, is final.

What: The United States is one of only a few nations that continues to require civil jury trials. As we are committed to protecting the rights of Florida’s citizens and consumers, the Florida Justice Association is especially concerned with the preservation of the right to trial by jury in civil cases. For this essay, please discuss the historical and continued importance of having access to a jury to render decisions in civil cases, why the right to a civil jury trial has become increasingly controversial, and what can be done to preserve it.

  • Essay should be submitted to the FJA Research and Education Foundation (The Foundation) via email. Each submission must include the essay (as described below) and the entrant’s name, school and contact information.
  • The Foundation is not responsible for errors or for lost, late, or misdirected email, or telecommunication or hardware or software failures, including by reason of any bug or computer virus or other failure.
  • Essays must be:
    • the original work of the entrant;
    • no more than 1000 words;
    • written in the English language;
    • written during 2021 or the current academic year;
    • submitted in electronic format (Word or PDF);
    • specifically written for this Contest; a law school class, seminar, or independent study; or a law review or journal note, comment, or a law review or journal note, comment, or article.
  • All entries are final. No revisions are accepted.
  • Please note: Entries that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.

When: The Foundation will accept entries submitted via e-mail before midnight (EST) on April 1, 2021, and will not consider any entry received after the due date and time. The winning essay— chosen by the Foundation’s selection committee—will be announced May 15, 2021. 

The Foundation’s selection committee will judge all essays. The decision of the committee is final.

The winner(s) will be notified by email by 11:59 PM (EST) May 15, 2021. The winner(s) must acknowledge and confirm agreement to the terms and conditions of winning the Contest no later than May 25, 2021. If a prize winner: (i) cannot be located (e.g., an email notification or prize is returned as undeliverable, or does not respond to an award email notification by May 25, 2021); (ii) is found to be ineligible (as determined solely by the Foundation); or (iii) fails to execute an affidavit or other documentation as required by the Foundation, the Foundation may consider such prize winner to have forfeited the prize, and may, at its sole option, award the prize to another contestant.

The Foundation reserves the right not to award any prize if the judges determine that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit selection that year.

Why: The Foundation will select one winner. First place will receive a cash scholarship of $3,000, to be used toward a Bar Preparation Course (or in reimbursement of, if already purchased). In addition, the top essay, along with a biography of the winning student, will be published in the FJA Journal. The top 3 winners will also receive a complementary one (1) year membership to the Florida Justice Association upon admission to the Florida Bar (a $199 value). All entrants will receive a complementary law student membership to the Florida Justice Association (a $50 value). 

  • The Sponsors may substitute a prize of equal or greater value in its sole discretion. Prizes are non- transferable and cannot be substituted by the winner. Cash equivalent for prizes is not available.
  • Winners will be solely responsible for reporting and payment of all taxes (federal, state, local or other) on prizes, which will include the value of any accommodations and airfare. Winners will be required to complete an IRS Form W-9, affidavit of eligibility, tax acknowledgment, publicity release (except where prohibited) and liability waiver. All forms must be completed and returned to the Foundation within 15 business days of receipt and prior to the delivery of any prize, or prizes will be considered forfeited and another winner may be named.

For more information, including how to apply, please review the additional rules below. Best of luck! 

Applicants should send questions to the FJA Research and Education Foundation staff via email.

Odds of Winning: Chances of winning may vary depending on the number of entries. However, the Foundation reserves the right not to award any prize if the judges determine that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit selection that year.

After notification of the prize winner, we will post the name of the winner on our website.

License/Grant of Rights:

  • By entering, the winning entrant consents to the publication of her/his entry by the Foundation, understands that such publication is not guaranteed and is at the sole discretion of the Foundation, and grants the Foundation the following rights: (i) the exclusive worldwide right of first publication of their entry in any and all FJA media or form of communication; (ii) the non-exclusive worldwide right, in the Foundation’s sole discretion, to use, transcribe, publish, reproduce, distribute, sell (as part of a FJA publication) or display the entry, alone or in conjunction with other materials; (iii) the right to edit the essay to conform to the publication’s standards of style, technological requirements, language, grammar and punctuation, provided the meaning of the essay is not materially altered; and (iv) the non-exclusive worldwide right to use the winner’s name and likeness in connection with the essay or this Contest, in each case, without further compensation.
  • The winning entrant must execute a separate publication agreement giving the Foundation the publication rights enumerated above and the right to use the article for any other purpose related to the Foundation’s mission.
  • If the winner fails to sign the agreement within 15 days of receipt, the prize will be considered forfeited and another winner may be named.
  • By entering this Contest, contestant represents that his/her essay is original content.

Conditions of Participation: By participating, each entrant agrees to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor and releases and discharges the FJA Research and Education Foundation, including affiliated entities, and each of their respective officers, directors, members, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively “Released Parties) from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with this Contest, including, without limitation, legal claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages, demands or actions of any kind (including, without limitation, personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light) (collectively “Claims). Except where prohibited, acceptance of a prize constitutes a release by any winner of the Released Parties of any and all Claims in connection with the administration of this Contest and the use, misuse or possession of any prize. All entries submitted in this contest become the property of the Foundation and will not be returned; however, entrants who do not win may submit their entries for publication elsewhere. All expenses involved in preparing and submitting an entry are the sole responsibility of the entrant. Sponsor is not responsible for errors or for lost, late, or misdirected mail. Sponsor may cancel, modify or terminate the Contest if it is not capable of completion as planned, including by reason of infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, or technical difficulties of any kind.

Laws and Regulations: This Contest is governed by U.S. law and all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. By entering, all participants agree that the Contest shall be governed by the laws of the State of Florida, that the courts of Florida shall have exclusive jurisdiction, and that Leon County, Florida shall be the venue for any dispute or litigation relating to or arising from the Contest. Void where prohibited by law.