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Competition offers Cash Prizes for Law Student Research Papers Addressing Issues of Access to Information

The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and The Journal of Civic Information are soliciting submissions for the 2021-2022 Journal of Civic Information Law Student Writing Competition.


The Journal of Civic Information is an online, open-access journal of practical scholarship, published by The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida. The Journal is indexed on Google Scholar and articles are peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary team of scholarly editors. 


Students are invited to submit papers addressing a legal or public policy issue in the field of information access. Recent editions of the Journal have featured articles on such topics as: Secrecy in economic development incentive programs, the impact of HIPAA privacy on access to health-related data, and trends in the accessibility of state legislative documents. 

Preference will be given to submissions that are relevant to current legal and public policy debates, as opposed to purely historical or theoretical. Students are encouraged to visit the website of the Journal of Civic Information,, for examples of the types of papers that have been deemed publication-worthy.


Up to three winners will be selected, with a First Prize of $2,000, a Second Prize of $1,000, and a Third Prize of $500. The top two papers, as selected by the editorial board of the Journal of Civic Information, will be guaranteed acceptance for publication in the Journal.


Students enrolled at any ABA-accredited law school in the United States during the 2021-2022 academic year are eligible to submit. The paper must be the author’s original work, not published in another journal. It may be adapted from a student’s previous academic or professional work. Entrants agree that The Journal of Civic Information will have the first right of publication for any submission.

The judges will evaluate papers based on thoroughness of research and analysis, relevance to the topic, applicability to contemporary legal or public policy issues, originality, and accuracy and clarity of writing.

Papers must be no longer than 10,000 words (not including footnotes) and be submitted in Microsoft Word, double spaced in 12-point type using a standard font. Footnote formatting must conform to the 20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.  


The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 25, 2022.

Papers must be submitted via email attachment to with the email subject line “Writing Competition”.

Papers must be preceded by a cover page (included in the same Word file) containing the following information:

  • Full Name of Author
  • Name of ABA-accredited Law School
  • Graduation Year
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

The entrant’s name and law school shall only appear on the cover page. The body of the paper should contain no identifying information.


The winners will be notified by phone or email on or before April 29, 2022.


The judges’ decisions are final.

Winners will be required to submit a completed W-9, affidavit of eligibility, tax acknowledgment and liability release for tax purposes as a condition to receiving the cash prize.  

The authors of papers that are selected for publication will be required to sign an agreement warranting the entry’s originality and granting The Journal of Civic Information first publication rights.

Jointly authored papers are eligible, provided all authors meet the eligibility requirements for the competition. If a winning paper has more than one author, the prize will be split equally among the co-authors.

Winners will be solely responsible for all federal, state, local or other taxes, if any such taxes apply.   

In the unlikely event that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit an award, the Organizers reserve the right not to award any prizes.

By participating, each entrant agrees to the rules of the Writing Competition and the decisions of the Organizers and releases, discharges and holds harmless the Organizers and each of their respective officers, directors, members, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with the Writing Competition, including without limitation legal claims, costs, injuries, loss or damages, demands or actions of any kind.

This Writing Competition may be cancelled, modified or terminated for any reason.

Any questions about the rules should be directed to Prof. Frank LoMonte, director of the Brechner Center, at

Posted: August 5, 2021
Category: Brechner News
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