Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

JLE Fiction Contest Winners' Stories Published February 01, 2013
JLE Fiction Contest Winners' Stories Published

Now you can read the stories that wowed best-selling authors. Winners of the first Journal of Legal Education Legal Fiction Contest impressed prominent judges with their imagination, skill and wit. After offering writers a rare opportunity to have their work read and judged by internationally known best-selling authors such as Michael Connolly, the Association of American Law Schools' Journal of Legal Education (JLE) and Southwestern selected the contest winners last July. The newly published print edition of the JLE's Fiction Issue (February 2013) features the top ten stories. Both the top ten and an additional ten runner-up stories are available online.

Steven Semeraro, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, won the contest with "The Birds They Sang at the Break of Day." His story topped an impressive 129 competition entries, which came from [diverse] writers throughout the United States. There were also international submissions from Canada, Germany, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Israel and South Africa. Contestants who submitted entries included professors, deans, judges, lawyers, law students and professional writers. These original short works of fiction are related to law school or the practice of law. In addition to Connelly, the judging panel included writers Denise Hamilton, Marshall Goldberg and Charles Rosenberg.

The top ten stories (in alphabetical order by author) published in the print edition and posted online were:

  • Peter Brennan, "The Lizard, the Justice & the Drunk"
  • Gerald T. Hendrickson, Esq., "No Defense"
  • Leslie Gielow Jacobs, "Snow White"
  • Kyle Mallinak, "Prague Spring"
  • Melissa F. Miller, "Black Thursday"
  • Patrick C. O'Reilly, "Lunch at MacDougal's"
  • Risa Peris, "She Wore Blue"
  • Steven Semeraro, "The Birds They Sang at the Break of Day"
  • John Power, "Trusts"
  • Marc Weitz, "The Jirga"

The ten runners up stories (only available online) were:

  • Nancy Bennett, "Secrets"
  • C.J. Booth, "Curbstomped at Hollywood and Vine"
  • Timothy F. Cahill, "Bad Omens"
  • Eren Cain, "The Pro Bono Lawyer"
  • David Chambers, "A Man Jumps Out of a Tree"
  • David H. Ingram, "Advice of Counsel"
  • Aaron D. Martin, Code of Ethics: A Legal Mystery Short Story
  • Jason Perry, "The Clerk"
  • Erin Shirl, "angels & ministers"
  • Janelle A. Weber, "The Meaning of Public Service"