Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Student Wins First Annual Rule of Law Prize September 14, 2010
Student Wins First Annual Rule of Law Prize

Third-year day student Elissa Felman won the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation's First Annual Rule of Law Prize. She received $2,500 for her first-place essay, which has been published on the BHBF's website.

Because the competition rules were fairly broad, Ms. Felman took an international approach and discussed how morality shapes and changes the rule of law. Before she began her research and writing, she says she had no idea what the rule of law was. When she discovered how broad the topic is, narrowing her focus became a challenge. She started four different papers before finally honing in on one aspect of the rule of law: morality.

"It is extremely rewarding to see such a positive result from months of hard work," Ms. Felman said. "Writing the paper really opened my eyes to the concept of the rule of law. I used the prize money to travel [abroad] this summer and found myself analyzing the rule of law in each country I visited. I was basically able to experience the deficiencies in the rule of law in lesser developed countries while experiencing the countries themselves, and if not for the writing competition, my experience would have been quite different."

This is the second time Ms. Felman has had success with legal writing competitions. Earlier this year, she was selected as one of five scholarship recipients from a nationwide pool of law students who entered the GRAMMY Foundation's 12th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) Writing Competition.

All Southwestern students are encouraged to consider entering essay contests which are sponsored by a wide range of organizations on a variety of legal topics. Information on current competitions is available online.