Fifth Annual International Writing Competition (2021-2022)

Innovative Legal Issues Likely to Arise from Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things


The Center for Legal & Court Technology (CLCT) is excited to announce that this year’s Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition is now live! This popular competition is in its 5th year. CLCT looks forward to receiving the submissions, by the deadline of January 10, 2022.

All current law students* worldwide are cordially invited to submit one paper, which must:  

  • Focus on at least one application of these technologies (e.g., Internet of Medical Things devices, facial recognition technology, autonomous systems, social media monitoring, etc.);
  • Explain whether regulation of the application is needed and to what extent; and
  • Propose means to regulate this application (proposals may range from traditional regulation to reliance on soft governance, and anything in between).

A submission is not required to put forward an original regulatory system; however, any novel, plausible and well-articulated proposals are likely to impress the judges. 

The cash prizes, funded by Cisco Systems, Inc., are:

  • 1st Place: U.S. $2,500
  • 2nd Place: U.S. $1,500
  • 3rd Place: U.S. $1,000

The winners will also have the unique opportunity of presenting their papers to a selected audience of executives from Cisco Systems, Inc.

We encourage students from diverse backgrounds to participate!

For further details, as well as terms and conditions, please read the Rules. For any questions, please email us at essaycompetition@lists.wm.edu.

* Please see Section 1, “Participants' Eligibility, of the Rules for further explanation and exceptions. 


Past Competition Winners
Fourth Annual International Writing Competition (2020-2021)

Winning submissions:

  • First place awarded to “The Ethical Use of Predictive Algorithms,” by Katrina Geddes, NYU Law (J.S.D., Class of 2023).
  • Second place awarded to “Wristwatches of Ruin,” by Dana Holmstrand & Samuel Taylor, Georgetown Law (J.D., Class of 2021 and J.D. Class of 2022, respectively).
  • Third place awarded to “My Pet Car?  Assigning Liability When Artificial Intelligence Causes Harm,” by Anthony Fernando & Seth Trott, Penn State Dickinson Law (both J.D., Class of 2023).

Special mentions:

  • Special mention to “FaceOff—The Damaging Impacts of Deepfakes,” by Anokhy Desai, University of Pittsburgh Law (J.D./M.S., Class of 2022).
  • Special mention  to “Yes, I Will:  Consent Dilemmas Involving Facial Recognition Technology,” by Natalia Menéndez González, European University Institute (Ph.D. in Law, Class of 2023).
Third Annual International Writing Competition (2019-2020)

Winning submissions:

  • First place awarded to “On the Cost of Botnet Attacks Increasing IoT Manufacturer Accountability,” by Nicholas Eitsert, Indiana University Maurer School of Law (J.D., class of 2021).
  • Second place awarded to “Patenting Artificial Intelligence inventions,” by Andrea Ortega, University of California, Berkley (LL.M., class of 2020).
  • Third place awarded to “Ethical Issues in AI-powered Legal Tech,” by Bonny Qiao, Indiana University Maurer School of Law (J.D., class of 2020).

Special mentions:

  • Special mention to “Should (A)I Stay Or Should (A)I Go? Black Box AI Challenges Data Protection Law,” by Francesca Mazzi, Queen Mary, University of London (Ph.D. in Law, class of 2021).
  • Special mention to “Authorship in Works Created by Artificial Intelligence,” by Arth Nagpal, National Law School of India University (LL.B., class of 2021).
Second Annual International Writing Competition (2018-2019)

J.D. (equivalent) & LL.M. Student Division winning submissions:

  • First Place awarded to “AI and the Board: Practical and Legal Considerations for Augmenting Board Decision-Making with Artificial Intelligence and Its Impacts on Corporate Law,” by Jordan Cohen, Emory University School of Law, J.D., class 2020.
  • Second Place awarded to “Examining the CFAA in the Context of Adversarial Machine Learning,” by Natalie Chyi, Cornell Law School, LL.M. in Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, class 2019.

Doctoral Law Student Division winning submission:

  • First Place awarded to “What Are You tAxIng About? Balancing Out the Tax System to Avoid the Consequences of Automation in the Welfare System,” by Vasiliki Koukoulioti, Queen Mary, University of London, Ph.D. in Law, class 2021.

Special mention:

  • First Place, “Future-Proofing Robotics: Limiting Manufacturer Liability from Autonomous Processes,” by Ryan Whittington, Georgetown Law, J.D., class 2020.
First Annual International Writing Competition (2017-2018)

Winning submissions:

  • First place was awarded to “Lights, Camera, AI; Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Ownership in the Entertainment Industry of Tomorrow” authored by Jordan Cohen from Florida International University College of Law.
  • Second place went to “Perfect Enforcement & Filtering Technology” by Brian Mund from Yale Law School.
  • Third place was awarded to “AI-‘Agents’: to be or not to be in legal ‘domain’?” jointly written by Federica Casano and Francesco Cavinato, both from Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna.

Special mentions:

  • Special Mention to “Enabling Big Data Despite GDPR Substantive Uncertainty: Compliance Programs and Article 25,” by Filippo Raso from Harvard Law School.
  • Special Mention to “Platforms and States, Governance and Sovereignty,” by Zi Xiang Tan from UC Berkeley School of Law.

Cisco Systems, Inc., (“CISCO”) has generously funded a grant for CLCT to educate lawyers and judges in the United States, the European Union, and Canada on the types of issues that can be expected to grow out of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. The goal of the Competition is to ignite interest in and dialogue with law students as future members of the legal profession on the type of issues that can be expected to grow out of emerging technologies. We believe that the forthcoming generations of judges and lawyers can be more creative, flexible, and resourceful in anticipating and coping with these emerging legal issues if they engage with them during their legal education. At the same time, we hope that the Competition will act as a form of crowdsourcing so that judges, lawyers, and law students will have a better idea of the challenges we will soon face.