Clarke Family Prize in Legal Ethics & Professionalism

About The Competition

Gonzaga Law School sponsors an annual writing competition on the topic of legal ethics. The 2020 competition will open on December 20, 2019. Full details and due dates will be available on this website when the problem is published. The winners will be announced at the annual Clarke Prize in Legal Ethics CLE on Thursday, April 16, 2020.

For more information on the CLE, visit the Clarke CLE webpage. 


Competition Rules


The competition for the Clarke Family Prize in Legal Ethics and Professionalism (“the Competition”) is open to all Gonzaga University School of Law students who: (a) have completed 30 or more credits at the time the Competition problem is due; and (b) are in good standing from the date the Competition problem is posted through the time of the reception described in Section 7 below.

Competition Problem

Contestants must address the legal ethics and professional responsibility problem for the Competition in the form of a client memorandum (the “Competition Paper”).

Original, Individual Work

A contestant’s Competition Paper must be an original and unpublished work. The contestant must be the sole author of his or her Competition Paper; co-authorship and group submissions are prohibited. A contestant may submit only one Competition Paper. A contestant may not seek assistance or advice in connection with the Competition problem or the Competition Paper from any person, including other law students, practicing attorneys, or Gonzaga Law School professors and administrators. This rule does not prevent a contestant from consulting with Westlaw research assistants or librarians at Gonzaga Law School or elsewhere for assistance in locating databases, books and other resources but not for assistance in framing searches or with any other aspect of the Competition problem or Competition Paper.

Format; Length

Entries must be written in memorandum format. Sources must be set forth in footnotes that comply with The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 20th Ed. Entries may not exceed 5,000 words, including footnotes, and must be printed on 8.5 x 11 paper with page numbers on all but the first page, double-spaced, with one-inch margins in Times New Roman font, 12 point.

What to Submit

Entries shall consist of:

  • A completed cover page in the form available for download on the Competition Webpage, which includes the name of the contestant and the contestant’s signed certification of compliance with the Competition Rules; and
  • An unstapled hard copy of the contestant’s Competition Paper, affixed to the cover page by binder clip. The contestant’s name or other identifying information may not appear anywhere in the Competition Paper.
  • An electronic version emailed to to verify word count and formatting.

When and Where to Submit Entries

Entries must be submitted on or before 4:00 PM on Friday, March 1, 2019 to Bryn Boorman in the Dean’s Suite, 4th Floor, Gonzaga Law School. If you are enrolled in a distance learning course, please notify Bryn Boorman.

Entry Review

The Competition Papers will be reviewed anonymously by a committee established by Gonzaga Law School (the “Competition Committee”), which will select the first, second and third prize winning papers.


The first place winner will receive a prize of $5,000. The second place winner will receive a prize of $2,000. The third place winner will receive a prize of $500.

Reception and Winners

Three finalists will be announced in the spring and will be invited to participate in a discussion of the Competition problem at a spring reception. The first-, second- and third-place prize winners will be announced at the reception. In addition to announcing and honoring the Competition winners and discussing the Competition problem, the reception may include discussion of other legal ethics issues of interest to Gonzaga alumni, students, and area practitioners. Finalists are expected to attend the reception.

Compliance and Decisions

The Competition Committee may refuse to consider entries that do not comply with the Competition Rules. Competition Committee decisions will be final.

Rule Revisions

The Competition Rules may be revised or supplemented by the Competition Committee or Gonzaga Law School at any time before or during the Competition.


Questions regarding any aspect of the Competition should be directed to Bryn Boorman, Program Coordinator, either in person in the Dean’s Suite, 4th Floor, Gonzaga Law School or by email at Do not direct questions about the Competition to Gonzaga Law School faculty members or other personnel.