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Writing Competitions

Writing Competitions

The Vermont Law Review sponsors two writing competitions each academic year open to Vermont Law School students. Submissions should be emailed as an attachment to with the competition in the subject line. We prefer Microsoft Word format, but will also accept submissions in WordPerfect or Adobe PDF format. 

The Dean Jonathan B. Chase Paper

The Chase Paper is awarded each year in memory of Dean Jonathan B. Chase. The award is given by the Vermont Law Review to the submission that best represents the standards established by Dean Chase and continued by the Vermont Law Review.

Ideal entries should contain a scholarly analysis of a discrete legal issue. Independent research papers, papers submitted for writing-intensive courses, and papers used to satisfy Advanced Writing Requirements generally should fit this criteria. Consequently, submissions are not limited to work completed during the present semester. The judges will consider the following factors: (1) originality, (2) quality of research, (3) quality of legal analysis, (4) adherence to the Bluebook, (5) clarity of style, and (6) timeliness of the subject.

Submission Requirements

The submission should address and analyze a discrete legal issue on any topic. The submission should be double-spaced, twelve-point font, one-inch margins, at least ten pages in length, and properly cited using the Bluebook (20th ed.).

The competition is open to all members of Vermont Law School’s third year class, except for Vermont Law Review members.

The Ballenger-Green Memorial Diversity Paper

The Vermont Law Review and the Deans office sponsor this annual competition to recognize and remember Chandra Ballenger ’02 and Orlando Green ’01, and what they contributed to the law school community in their names. Chandra and Orlando were exemplary VLS students who passed away abruptly during their law school careers.

Competitors must submit a paper of high quality that addresses some aspect of human diversity and the law, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, environmental justice, international human rights, education, and health/welfare, among other topics. The paper may have been written for a class, advanced writing requirement, an independent research project, or for any other purpose.

Winners will receive a scholarship award and will be considered for publication in the Vermont Law Review. The opportunity to publish is contingent, however, on the quality of the paper. It must meet the Law Review‘s standards for publication: correct citation format, proper grammar and spelling, clear organization and legal analysis, clarity, active voice, support for assertions, and creative thought. If the winning paper is selected for publication, the author will be required to provide a research binder in support of the paper.

Submission Requirements

The paper must be at least ten pages, double-spaced, twelve-point font, one-inch margins, and correct footnote format conforming to the Bluebook (20th ed.). The paper may not be published or submitted for publication elsewhere. The paper cannot be a Law Review note or a Vermont Journal of Environment Law (formerly Res Communes) article, but Law Review and VJEL members may participate.

All Vermont Law School students may enter, including Law Review staff members.

Publishing Policy

Authors retain the right to post their published article, in whole or in part, on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) or another Internet or Intranet site over which the Author has effective control provided that the posted document or text identifies the Author, Vermont Law Review, the volume, the publication year and–as soon as it is available–the number of the first page. Pre-publication postings outside of the scope of this policy are discouraged but can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Submissions The Vermont Law Review continually seeks articles, commentaries, essays, and book reviews on any subject concerning recent developments in state, federal, Native American, or international law.

Learn more about the submissions process >