National Security Law Student Note/Essay Competition

From the editors of the William Mitchell Law Review:

The William Mitchell Law Review is conducting a nation-wide student note competition.  Students are invited to submit case notes or essays on any subject related to national security.  The Law Review staff will evaluate all the submissions, and one winning entry will be published in the forthcoming issue.  All entries must be received by December 1, 2011.


The winner’s paper will be published in Volume 38, Issue 5 of the William Mitchell Law Review (National Security Issue).  A winner will be announced on or before January 1, 2012.


The competition is open to all students attending an accredited law school anywhere in the United States who are enrolled full time or part time at the time of their submission of a paper to the competition, including J.D., L.L.M., Ph.D., and S.J.D. candidates.  Members of the William Mitchell Law Review are not eligible.


Papers must be at least 5,000 words in length and no more than 15,000 words in length, including footnotes.  Submissions must be typed in Microsoft Word, with file names ending in “.doc” or “.docx.”  Margins must be one inch on all sides.  The document text and footnotes must be in 12 point font, Times New Roman, and double-spaced.  All sources must be cited according to the Bluebook citation manual.  All citations must be in footnotes, not endnotes.

In order to be eligible to win the competition, the submitted note must not have been previously published elsewhere.  The Law Review reserves the right of first refusal for publication with respect to the winning entry.


Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on December 1, 2011.


Papers must be submitted by email, as an attachment, to katherine.zerwas [at]  Each submission must include the author’s name, where the author is enrolled in school, degree expected, anticipated date of graduation, and preferred form of contact.  By submitting an entry, the applicant agrees to the terms of the competition and to exclusive publication of the paper in the William Mitchell Law Review if selected.

Suggested Topics

Any topic related to U.S. national security is appropriate for the purposes of this competition.  What follows is a non-exhaustive list that is meant to spark ideas, not to limit the field of possible topics.  Competitors are encouraged to view past issues of the National Security Issue for additional ideas.

  • Anniversary of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
  • War in Iraq
  • War in Afghanistan
  • Detention of suspected terrorists
  • Ahmed Warsame case
  • Guantanamo
  • Rendition
  • Targeted Killing
  • Laws of War/Law of Armed Combat
  • Surveillance
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Al Qaeda
  • Domestic terrorism

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