International Writing Competitions

Fifth Annual International Writing Competition (2021-2022)

The Center for Legal & Court Technology (CLCT) is excited to announce that this year’s Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition is now live! This popular competition is in its 5th year. CLCT looks forward to receiving the submissions, by the deadline of January 10, 2022.

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.

  • 1st place: U.S. $2,500
  • 2nd place: U.S. $1,500
  • 3rd place: U.S. $1,000

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

We encourage students from diverse backgrounds to participate!

For further details, as well as terms and conditions, please read the Rules. For any questions, please email us at essaycompetition@lists.wm.edu.

Please see Section 1, “Participants’ Eligibility,” of the Rules for further explanation and exceptions.


Fourth Annual International Writing Competition (2020-2021)

CLCT announced the winners of its annual Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition on May 25, 2021. This year’s global participants analyzed a wide array of technology topics, including ethical issues arising from facial recognition technology, deepfakes, and predictive algorithms; the digital divide amongst populations; the constitutionality of the American criminal justice system’s use of Artificial Intelligence; and risk management and liability related to IoT devices.

The three winning submissions are:

  • First place awarded to “The Ethical Use of Predictive Algorithms,” by Katrina Geddes, NYU Law (J.S.D., Class of 2023).
  • Second place awarded to “Wristwatches of Ruin,” by Dana Holmstrand & Samuel Taylor, Georgetown Law (J.D., Class of 2021 and J.D. Class of 2022, respectively).
  • Third place awarded to “My Pet Car?  Assigning Liability When Artificial Intelligence Causes Harm,” by Anthony Fernando & Seth Trott, Penn State Dickinson Law (both J.D., Class of 2023).

Two papers were also awarded a Special Mention:

  • Special mention to “FaceOff—The Damaging Impacts of Deepfakes,” by Anokhy Desai, University of Pittsburgh Law (J.D./M.S., Class of 2022).
  • Special mention to “Yes, I Will:  Consent Dilemmas Involving Facial Recognition Technology,” by Natalia Menéndez González, European University Institute (Ph.D. in Law, Class of 2023).

Third Annual International Writing Competition (2019-2020)

The winners of the third annual Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition were announced on May 5, 2020. Submissions were received from across the globe, and authors approached various themes, including liability arising from IoT devices; intellectual property issues stemming from Artificial Intelligence; challenges introduced by facial recognition and deepfakes; insurance in the Big Data world; and ethical considerations in the changing relationship between humans and their artifacts.

The winners are:

  • First place awarded to “On the Cost of Botnet Attacks Increasing IoT Manufacturer Accountability,” by Nicholas Eitsert, Indiana University Maurer School of Law (J.D., class of 2021).
  • Second place awarded to “Patenting Artificial Intelligence inventions,” by Andrea Ortega, University of California, Berkley (LL.M., class of 2020).
  • Third place awarded to “Ethical Issues in AI-powered Legal Tech,” by Bonny Qiao, Indiana University Maurer School of Law (J.D., class of 2020).

Two papers were also awarded a Special Mention:

  • Special mention to “Should (A)I Stay Or Should (A)I Go? Black Box AI Challenges Data Protection Law,” by Francesca Mazzi, Queen Mary, University of London (Ph.D. in Law, class of 2021).
  • Special mention to “Authorship in Works Created by Artificial Intelligence,” by Arth Nagpal, National Law School of India University (LL.B., class of 2021).

Second Annual International Writing Competition (2018-2019)

CLCT announced the winners of the second annual Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition on April 24, 2019. In its second year, the writing competition returned with remarkable success! Open to law students worldwide, the competition more than doubled the number of submissions received in its first year.

This year’s competition was divided into two divisions: J.D. (or equivalent) and LL.M. students, and Doctoral law students. The winners, all of whom will receive cash prizes provided through grant funding by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, are:

J.D. (equivalent) & LL.M. Student Division:

  • First Place awarded to “AI and the Board: Practical and Legal Considerations for Augmenting Board Decision-Making with Artificial Intelligence and Its Impacts on Corporate Law,” by Jordan Cohen, Emory University School of Law, J.D., class 2020.
  • Second Place awarded to “Examining the CFAA in the Context of Adversarial Machine Learning,” by Natalie Chyi, Cornell Law School, LL.M. in Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, class 2019.

Doctoral Law Student Division:

  • First Place awarded to “What Are You tAxIng About? Balancing Out the Tax System to Avoid the Consequences of Automation in the Welfare System,” by Vasiliki Koukoulioti, Queen Mary, University of London, Ph.D. in Law, class 2021.

Special Mention:

  • First Place, “Future-Proofing Robotics: Limiting Manufacturer Liability from Autonomous Processes,” by Ryan Whittington, Georgetown Law, J.D., class 2020.

First Annual International Writing Competition (2017-2018)

The inaugural International Writing Competition took place during the 2017-2018 academic year. CLCT invited law students from the United States, Canada and the European Union to submit papers setting forth novel legal issues posed by artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, data analytics, and associated technologies.

The results of the first International Writing Competition were announced in April 2018. The competition received many impressive submissions covering a broad spectrum of issues. Winners received cash prizes funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The winners of the 2017-2018 Writing Competition are:

  • First place was awarded to “Lights, Camera, AI; Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Ownership in the Entertainment Industry of Tomorrow” authored by Jordan Cohen from Florida International University College of Law.
  • Second place went to “Perfect Enforcement & Filtering Technology” by Brian Mund from Yale Law School.
  • Third place was awarded to “AI-‘Agents’: to be or not to be in legal ‘domain’?” jointly written by Federica Casano and Francesco Cavinato, both from Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna.

Two papers were also awarded a Special Mention:

  • Special Mention to “Enabling Big Data Despite GDPR Substantive Uncertainty: Compliance Programs and Article 25,” by Filippo Raso from Harvard Law School.
  • Special Mention to “Platforms and States, Governance and Sovereignty,” by Zi Xiang Tan from UC Berkeley School of Law.

This content has been updated on November 4, 2021 at 11:42 am.