Sponsored by the Mercer University School of Law and the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights
Adam A. Milani – a passionate disability rights activist and accomplished scholar – was well known for his publication of numerous practical books and articles in the field of disability discrimination. He taught legal writing as well as the law of disability discrimination and always encouraged his students to become prolific and outstanding writers.
The purposes of the competition are to promote greater interest in and understanding of the field of disability law and to encourage excellent legal writing skills in law students.
The submission may address any aspect of disability law, theory, or practice the contestant chooses. Other permissible topics include issues arising under any of the following statutes: Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Family and Medical Leave Act; or any state statutes or municipal ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Submissions should be trial-level or appellate briefs on one of the topics listed above. The text of a submission must be double-spaced, with twelve-point font and one-inch margins. The Question(s) Presented section, the Statement of the Facts / Statement of the Case section, the Argument section, and the Conclusion together are limited to 20 pages. Briefs may include any other customary component of a similar court document, but those components will not be evaluated.
If the submission covers both a topic among those listed above and a topic not listed above, only the topic listed above will be evaluated. For papers written originally for a legal writing class, only two papers per legal writing professor per year will be considered. If more than two students of a particular professor desire to submit a paper, the professor shall choose which paper(s) will be submitted.
Briefs will not be penalized for arguing a position that would limit rights rather than expand them.
First Prize will range between $300 and $1,000, depending on whether multiple awards are given. The name of the winner(s) in each category will be posted online at the Mercer University School of Law website.
Entries for the competition must be submitted by mail to the "Adam A. Milani Disability Law Writing Competition," Mercer University, School of Law, 1021 Georgia Ave., Macon, GA 31207-0001. Submissions must be postmarked by June 4, 2013, by U.S. mail or a recognized commercial express service. Entries submitted by fax will not be accepted. The contestant's name and other identifying markings such as school name are not to be on any copy of the submitted entry. The staff at Mercer University School of Law will assign a random number to each entry and will record this number on all copies of each submission. Neither the contestant's identity nor his or her academic institution will be known to any Milani Competition Judge. Two copies of the entry must be submitted along with a disk containing an electronic copy of the submission in Word Perfect or Word format. Clear, legible photocopies without changes are acceptable. Each entrant may submit only one entry. Entries must be accompanied by the attached entry form.
The competition is open to all students who attend a law school in the United States. Full-time students who are not law students but who write law-related papers as part of a course at an American law school are also eligible. Employees of Mercer University School of Law (except for students working less than 20 hours per week) are not eligible to enter the competition.
The author must have performed all the key tasks of researching, writing, and revising the paper for himself or herself, but may have received a reasonable amount of advice from academicians or practitioners. Except for any discussions or other activities that occur as part of course activities approved by the student's professor, the author must avoid collaboration with other students. If the brief is written as an assignment in a legal writing class and if the student was assigned to produce the brief along with a partner, the student may submit the brief but must identify the portions for which the student was the sole author. Only those parts of the brief will be evaluated. Under no other circumstances may any of the written product be produced by another.
All entries will be judged anonymously by the Milani Competition Judges, who will select the winning submission(s). The Director of the Milani Writing Competition at Mercer University School of Law will notify the award winner(s). The Judges reserve the right not to award any prizes if it is determined that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit selection that year.
Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: quality of research and authority provided; accuracy and clarity of the analysis; compliance with standard conventions of similar court documents; and technical quality of writing, including organization, grammar, syntax, and form.