Spring 2023 High School Essay Competition

Central to the PLJ’s mission is to provide opportunities for students to explore their own legal interests and to develop their personal editing and writing skills. As a result, the PLJ runs a writing competition for high school students to extend this engagement and accessibility to the law.

The Spring 2023 Competition Topic was: Emerging Issues in Law and Technology

The goal of this prompt is for the next generation of legal students to reflect on emerging legal problems and challenges. Submissions must thus focus on novel issues in law and technology, broadly conceived. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: artificial intelligence, bioethics, biotechnology, copyright, cybersecurity, digital speech, food and drug law, health law, Internet law, patent law, privacy, and surveillance. This prompt is purposely broad in scope in order to give participants freedom to delve into an area of the law that uniquely interests them.

Submission Details

The competition is open to all current high school students graduating in or after May 2023. Each individual may submit only one piece. Submissions must be a unique personal piece of work, previously unpublished and may not be submitted to other essay competition or publication during the competition period.

The deadline for submissions is Monday May 1, 2023 at 5pm ET. Submissions must be no shorter than 1,500 words and no longer than 3,000 words, including footnotes.

Essays must be submitted via the Journal’s online submission form.

Please submit your Essay as a Word document. Your submission file should be titled “PLJ Essay Competition – [ESSAY TITLE]” and include a header with “PLJ Essay Competition” in the main text of your document. To ensure anonymized review, please do not include any identifying information, including name, class year, or institution, in your Essay’s body or metadata. Failure to anonymize your Essay may disqualify it from consideration by the Selection Committee.

A Selection Committee will consider all submissions anonymously. Winners will be announced in late May 2023. Authors who submit winning Essays commit to publication in the Princeton Legal Journal Forum and agree to participate in our full editing process. This process involves both structural and substantive suggestions, as well as source citing for content and adherence to Bluebook style.

We are excited to announce the three winners of the 2023 High School Essay Competition: Beatrice Neilson, Caroline Quirk, and Kaylee Yang! Read their essays below.

Congratulations as well to our four recipients of an Honorable Mention: Deirdre Chau, Carson Loveless, Erica Yip, and Yike Zhang!