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February 23, 2004

Philadelphia Bar Association Seeks Submissions for Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legal Writing Competition

The Philadelphia Bar Association is now seeking submissions for the 2004 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pursuit of Justice Legal Writing Competition for law students. The award, which will be presented at the Bar Association's June Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon, on June 24, recognizes excellence in legal analysis and writing skills in a student enrolled in a Philadelphia area law school. Essays will focus on any topic relating to rights, privileges and responsibilities under federal law.

The competition is open to full- and part-time law students in their second or third year of study during the 2003-04 academic year at one of the following five schools: University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Rutgers School of Law (Camden), Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, Villanova University School of Law, Widener University School of Law (Delaware Campus). Submissions may not have been published previously, although they may have been prepared in connection with a law school course and must not have been submitted for any other competition during the time when they are under consideration for this competition.
Diane Edelman, Assistant Dean for Legal Writing at Villanova University School of Law, and Kathleen D. Wilkinson, a partner with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP, are co-chairs of the competition.
In addition to having his or her essay published in The Philadelphia Lawyer and on the Bar Association's Web site, a cash prize of $2,500 will be awarded.
"Diane Edelman and I were delighted to be appointed by Chancellor Bevilacqua to serve again as chairs of this prestigious award," said Wilkinson. "Last year, Justice Ginsburg was present when the first award was presented to Kimberly Bartman, a recent graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law. It was a thrilling experience for Kim, as well as the entire bar.  Maintaining the tradition of joining with the law schools in recognizing excellence in legal writing is a worthy goal. I am pleased to again work with the Chancellor in receiving excellent writing submissions on any topic related to rights, privileges and responsibilities under federal law."
 "Those of us who teach legal analysis and writing-whether in a first-year course or in an upper-level seminar-are thrilled that Justice Ginsburg and the Bar Association have chosen to recognize the importance of this field in such a significant way," said Edelman. "The Philadelphia-area law schools work very hard to help students to master these crucial skills, and the public recognition of both faculty and student efforts by the Bar Association has and will continue to impress upon students just how important these skills are. Kathleen and I, and our group of nine distinguished competition judges, look forward to this year's submissions."
A committee of Philadelphia area attorneys, professors and judges will evaluate the submissions, considering the following criteria: originality and importance of topic; thoroughness of research; depth of analysis; organization of analysis, writing style; form, quality and placement of citations; and adherence to the rules of the competition.
Judges for this year's competition are Professor Doretta Massardo McGinnis, Widener University School of Law; Judge Anita B. Brody, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Judge Abraham Gafni, formerly of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas; Professor Elizabeth Hillman, Rutgers University School of Law (Camden); Professor Catherine Lanctot, Villanova University School of Law; Professor Robin Nilon, Temple University Beasley School of Law; Professor Kermit Roosevelt, University of Pennsylvania School of Law; Thomas G. Wilkinson, partner at Cozen O'Connor; and Nancy Winkelman, partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.
Submissions must be postmarked by no later than 12 a.m., April 30, 2004. For a complete list of rules and regulation for the Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pursuit of Justice Legal Writing Competition, contact Diane Edelman at (610) 519-7047; Kathleen D. Wilkinson at (215) 627-6900; or click here to view them online.
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