2019 Problem

Clarke Prize in Legal Ethics

2019 Student Writing Competition Problem

The 2019 Clarke Prize writing competition invites students to address how artificial intelligence (“AI”) impacts the practice of law within the ethical rules governing legal practice, and how these ethical rules may need to adapt to a future world of AI. Student papers should address this global topic in three sections:

  1. How is AI most significantly affecting legal practice? Be specific and concrete, with examples. Responses should not attempt to catalog every instance of AI being used in legal practice. Rather, the goal for this section is for students accurately to reveal and address the broader question of how AI is altering the landscape of legal services, for both lawyers and consumers.
  2. What significant ethical issues does this changing landscape present for lawyers? In answering this question, work from the A.B.A. Model Rules of Professional Conduct as your primary resource, but you may supplement the Model Rules with other relevant sources of authority. The goal in this section should be a brief ethical practice guide for lawyers who may work with AI.
  3. Working from the knowledge base in the first two sections, what immediate change would you propose to the Model Rules to address the ethical implications of AI? Your proposal may be narrow or quite global so long as you explain your proposal persuasively, but your proposal must be directed to the Model Rules. The goal in this section is for students to craft a policy proposal rooted in the
    Model Rules to address one or more emerging ethical issues raised by AI.

The most successful papers will respond to these prompts with original analysis based on thorough and accurate research from reliable sources. Papers that merely regurgitate perspectives from a limited set of sources will not be effective.

Papers may not exceed 5,000 words, including title page, headings, and footnotes. Papers must be written in 12-point Times New Roman typeface. Sources must be cited in footnotes using 11-point Times New Roman typeface, and citations must follow The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed.). In all other respects, students should use their own judgment of how to research, format, organize, and execute this paper.

Students may not collaborate with any other person in researching or drafting this paper, except that students may seek assistance from Gonzaga library faculty and staff in locating sources. Otherwise, the paper must represent original and individual research and analysis. By submitting a paper, a student certifies that the paper complies with these requirements.

Submissions will be screened by Gonzaga law faculty to identify approximately five semifinalist papers. The semi-finalist papers will be evaluated by a panel of outside experts who will select and rank the three finalist papers. The three finalist papers will be announced in the spring, and the winner and runners-up will be identified at the 2019 Clarke Prize in Legal Ethics Conference on April 25, 2019.