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 competition was created in honor of Professor William H. Clarke, who taught at the Law School for 30 years, regularly coached the National Moot court team, and was a three-time recipient of the Most Distinguished Teacher award given annually by the Gonzaga Student Bar Association. The 2020 competition will open on December 20, 2019. 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

Eligibility

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 of Competition competition registration; 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

Acting as Corporate Counsel, participants will be provided with a factual scenario involving one or more issues of legal ethics or professional responsibility. Participants will submit a a brief memorandum (the Competition Paper), then make a 15-minute oral presentation to a mock Board of Directors (the Judges Panel).  

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A contestant’s Competition Paper must be an original and unpublished work.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

Written entries must be printed on 8.5 x 11 paper, double-spaced, with one-inch margins and in Times New Roman 12-point font. The Competition Paper may not exceed 800 words. The oral portion of the competition will consist of a 2-minute opening statement followed by 13 minutes of dialogue with the Judges Panel.

Competition Timeline

Competition problem distributed: December 20, 2019
Registration opens: January 6, 2020
Registration closes: February 3, 2020
Memoranda due: February 10, 2020
Preliminary Oral Presentations: February 13 & 14, 2020
Final Round Oral Presentations: April 2, 2020
Winners announced: April 16, 2020

Registration

Registration will open on January 6, 2020 and be announced in Morning Mail. The competition is limited to 20 students; should more than 20 students wish to compete, a wait list will be maintained. All registrants will be asked to confirm their participation on February 1, 2020. Confirmation of registration is a commitment to compete. Any student who does not confirm registration will be removed from the competition and replaced by the student highest on the wait list. 

Judging Process

Both the Competition Paper and the oral presentation will be scored. The three competitors with the highest combined score (of their paper and oral presentation) will advance to the final round. The best paper and best oral presentation will be determined during the preliminary rounds. The three participants with the highest combined score will advance to the final found. The best overall score will be determined during the final round.

Prizes

Best Paper Best Oral Presentation Best Overall
1st: $1,000 1st: $1,000 1st: $1,500
2nd: $750 2nd: $750 2nd: $1,000
3rd: $500 3rd: $500 3rd: $500

Reception and Winners

The first-, second- and third-place prize winners will be announced at the CLE on April 16, 2020. In addition to announcing and honoring the Competition winners and discussing the Competition problem, the CLE may include discussion of other legal ethics issues of interest to Gonzaga alumni, students, and area practitioners. Finalists are expected to attend the CLE.

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

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 boorman@gonzaga.edu. Do not direct questions about the Competition to Gonzaga Law School faculty members or other personnel.