2023 High School Essay Competition

As President of the Princeton Legal Journal, I’m excited to announce the PLJ’s first ever annual High School Essay Competition.

The PLJ is a student-run organization whose primary purpose is to publish diverse, domestic, and internationally-focused articles on pertinent legal issues and create a community of students interested in the law. We’re also trying to make the law more accessible by establishing a platform where students can find a scholarly voice and feel confident crafting legal arguments and expressing their views.

Central to this is to provide opportunities for students to explore their own legal interests, to develop their personal editing and writing skills, and to encourage them to challenge classical arguments and have a voice in complex conversations. That’s why, as new President for this year, I wanted to start a writing competition for high school students to extend this engagement and accessibility to the law.

The 2023 Competition Topic will be: 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 Submissions must be a unique personal piece of work, previously unpublished and may not be submitted to other essay competition or publication during the competition period.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.

Please direct questions about the Student Essay Competition to the President, Ava Peters (ajpeters@princeton.edu) and Editor-in-Chief, Beck Reiferson (deansr@princeton.edu).

We look forward to reading your submissions!