TLS Contest Description

Many years ago TLS held a content competition. The competition is no longer active, but this forum keeps going.
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Ken
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TLS Contest Description

Postby Ken » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:23 am

To assist TLS reach its true potential I want to utilize the genius of our members. Since it is summer and I anticipate many of you may have some spare time, I wanted to create a contest to motivate TLS members to write new content for TLS. My hope is that the strongest motivation will be to improve the TLS community, but I also want to incentivize everyone with over $3,000 in contest money.

My goal is that almost everyone who puts time into this and writes a good article will get something, so the prizes are distributed in the following fashion:

$500 for 1st place
$250 for 2nd place
$150 for 3rd place
$100 for 5 Honorable Mention prizes
$50 for 25 Great Addition prizes

The winners will be chosen in two months on September 15th.

Also, $100 in prize money will be awarded to the best entry submitted every few weeks. The first $100 will be chosen on August 1st for the best submission between now and August 1st, then another $100 for the best entry submitted between Aug. 1st-Aug. 15th, another $100 for an entry submitted from Aug. 16th-Aug. 31st and then a final $100 will be provided to an entry from Sept. 1st to Sept. 15th, when all of the winners will be chosen.

I will choose the winners, but listen heavily to TLS members on who they feel are the best submissions. Moderators are not eligible for prizes (sorry mods, gotta make sure it is fair).

Your submission can be anything you would like it to be and the most likely topic is something that you feel will be a good addition to TLS. This could be a subject we already have written about but not as in-depth as you feel it should be or running with an entirely new topic. Please use your creative juices to add to TLS. Those who win prizes would contribute their content to TLS, which hopefully is fine.

The selection of topic is yours, but the following are some areas of expansion or need I feel would be of value to TLS, with the first few being excellent topics for those currently in law school:

Profiles on Top Law Firms. These would be similar to the profiles on the law schools, with the goal being to provide insight into what it is like to work at each firm (culture, pay, hours worked, what grades and school one needs to be hired, areas of specialty, etc.)

Rankings of the top 100 law firms. This can be by different metrics such as size (National Law Journal), prestige (Vault) and other metrics such as per partner profit and quality of life if available.

Articles on how to succeed in law school, particularly during the first year. The author would ideally have finished in the top 10% of their class and can draw heavily from personal experience. There can be several of these articles written since different routes to success surely exist. Good examples would be the blog by JayCutler'sCombover (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=77498) , and the post by Arrow (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=77628)

A summary of law school, such as: 1) a description of the first year of law school (required classes such as Torts, Civil Procedure and what topics they cover), 2) the hard task of looking for a summer job in your first summer, 3) 2nd year classes (can either be electives but several students will take classes that prepare them for the bar such as evidence, constitutional law, etc.), 4) on-campus interviews, 5) the summer associate job where you work for the firm you hope to get employed by, 6) the potentially relaxing 3rd year if you already have your offer from a firm in hand, 7) intensive bar review, and 8) bar vacation (travel for 3-8 weeks as your last hurrah before the golden handcuffs).

An article describing the OCI process and ideally try to find out how the process works at several different law schools (do the students get to choose the firms as at most top law schools or can the firms determine who they want to interview by selecting amongst resumes) and also how many law firms come to each law school.

There is a shortage on TLS of information on legal employment so information relevant to this would be useful.

An article on clerking and how to effectively get a clerkship.

An article on what law schools offer early admission (non-binding) and early action (binding) and the pros and cons of both of these options (with there being many cons to binding early action and many pros to applying via early admission.

Summaries of the policy of every top 100 law school discussing what schools take the highest of multiple LSAT scores or instead average the scores. Providing detailed explanation when needed for a particular school policy would be ideal.

More information on the transfer process and how to successfully transfer would be great.

More information on financial aid (and advice on trying to negotiate more aid utilizing other scholarships).

These are just some preliminary ideas and the goal is for you to write about something you feel is missing on TLS. More contests will eventually occur, but the most prizes will be awarded during the summer since this is likely to be when participation will be the greatest.

For those submissions that become articles credit will be given to the authors if desired. Please post away on either further ideas of what would be good additions to TLS or what you intend to write about (to lessen the possibility of duplicate articles). Post you submissions in this forum as new topics. I welcome any ideas on ways to improve this contest as it is my first attempt. Unleash your genius, make $, and make TLS a better place.

Cheers,

Ken

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OperaSoprano
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:57 am

Ken, this is phenomenal!

My thoughts:

The NYC schools article needs updating. I wish our tuition was $30,000!

I'd be willing to put together an article on getting off waitlists, if anyone is interested.

TLS rocks, and it always will.

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Cavalier
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Cavalier » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:58 am

Great idea! I think I'll work on something regarding multiple LSAT scores, since that was a subject of great concern to me in the admissions process.

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Splitt3r
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Splitt3r » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:05 am

Cavalier wrote:Great idea! I think I'll work on something regarding multiple LSAT scores, since that was a subject of great concern to me in the admissions process.


Not to say that you shouldn't, of course, but I'm almost done with an article on the exact same topic. I'm sure Ken will be happy to have the ability to pick from multiple articles on the same topic though.

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Ken
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Ken » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:09 am

Dear Opera Soprano, Splitt3r, and Cavalier,

Thanks for your enthusaistic responses.

Opera Soprano, I think you have 2 winners on your side. An article on getting off the wait list would be an excellent addition. Dean Pless and maybe one or two other of the Deans of Admission had good advice on that in their interviews. Also, the NY law school article was one of the first I wrote many years ago and has not been updated. Updating tuition, admission numbers and expanding it (especially Fordham which you know and love) would definitely add to TLS.

Splitt3r, thanks for the work you have already done. Cavalier, if you could get this information for any schools that Splitt3r does not have (perhaps T3 or T4) then it can be a collaborative article which has a very high likelihood of getting a prize of some level. Of course, the option of 2 articles is fine as well, but having Cavalier help Splitt3r with any remaining schools may be a good use of resources (prize money can be split however you both feel is fair since Splitt3r may already have a lot done).

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Cavalier
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Cavalier » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:19 am

Well... I think I might write about financial aid then. It would be helpful to have an article that covers the basics - all the various types of loans and their requirements (Stafford, Grad Plus, etc.), the forms to fill out (FAFSA, Need Access), and some info on merit scholarships.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:23 am

Consider it done, Ken.
:mrgreen:

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Splitt3r
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Splitt3r » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:30 am

I'd be happy to collaborate with Cavalier on the article and would be willing to share what I've already done in the hopes that the article will be better because of it. I'll PM him to see if he's interested.

I'm also about halfway through something discussing my visits to 12 of the T-14 schools, which I hope to have done by the end of the week (though it's been taking me a bit longer than I thought it would.)

EDIT: Oh I saw in the review posts that he decided to change topics. If you do change your mind about wanting to work together on it, let me know.

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Cavalier
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Cavalier » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:38 am

I think I'd rather work on something from scratch, it's easier for me that way.

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Splitt3r
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Splitt3r » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:39 am

Cavalier wrote:I think I'd rather work on something from scratch, it's easier for me that way.


No problem. Good luck!

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Ken
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Ken » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:42 am

Splitt3r, your article discussing your visits to 12 of the T14 law schools will be great and provide personal insight into those schools so I look forward to that article when complete.

I should have started something like this months ago!

chuckwarr
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby chuckwarr » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:43 am

Great contest.

TLS Users, please don't plagiarize!! There is a ton of information out there, so be sure to give credit where it is due. If you write an article, I recommend you include a list of any references to Ken.

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Ken
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Ken » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:48 am

Thanks for that comment. Although implicit, best to make it explicit that we do not want to plagiarize any sources. Given that this is a website for law students, this is an unlikely possibility but still best to state the obvious.

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Arrow
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Arrow » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:06 am

Wow this is a fantastic idea, money is going to be a great incentive (we are going to be lawyers after all). I think it would be totally fun to write an article about transferring, a summary of law school (or at least the 1st year since I haven't graduated), or maybe even a summary about legal reasoning/analysis. Perhaps I can even update the summary of my own law school, though it is not exactly a top law school. Man, I wish our tuition was $30,000 too! Anyhow, I hope someone writes some good articles on law firms/OCI since I could definitely use that information right about now.

Oh and, I don't suppose I can still submit my article on succeeding in law school and just repost it here. :D

Also, can you win multiple prizes (not to be greedy or anything)?

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Ken
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Ken » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:12 am

Hey Arrow,

Your great post on succeeding in law school, which I do anticipate will become an article, is definitely going to be in the contest. And for those who are eager, getting more than one prize is certainly possible. I want to reward those who work hard to improve TLS. Your writing about transfering and the first year sound great. Just as an FYI, there could be 2 articles on the same subject that both win prizes and I will just consolidate the articles (and offer dual credit/authorship) or print both if they offer different perspectives. So while it is ideal to have one's own individual topic, it is not a necessity to still win a prize.

As you mentioned Arrow, I do hope for some good articles on OCI, employment, etc. as TLS is by far the best pre-law site out there but I still need to improve TLS content for law students and young lawyers as I want to keep TLS exciting and pertinent to retain users.

Thanks for your earlier great post Arrow and I look forward to your articles.

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vanwinkle
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:43 am

I think it would be good to have articles outlining commonly sought information and advice for URM and other non-standard applicants. I see a lot of the same information being asked over and over again in the URM forum and elsewhere and it'd be a lot easier to just point someone to an article. I would also be glad to put such an article together.

I'm also going to try to put together an Early Decision article unless someone else really really wants that one.

sophie316
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby sophie316 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:48 am

Hmm, maybe I will try and put something together about applying as an international student.

FeuerFrei
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby FeuerFrei » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:18 am

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Last edited by FeuerFrei on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

monkey34
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby monkey34 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:17 pm

I recently transferred from a T4 to a T1. I wrote a detailed article about the transfer process. It is advice that I think would be useful to any transfer applicant. Transferring was a nervewracking experience for me, so I think that this will be a good read for anyone interested in transferring.

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Kohinoor
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:36 pm

Splitt3r wrote:
Cavalier wrote:Great idea! I think I'll work on something regarding multiple LSAT scores, since that was a subject of great concern to me in the admissions process.


Not to say that you shouldn't, of course, but I'm almost done with an article on the exact same topic. I'm sure Ken will be happy to have the ability to pick from multiple articles on the same topic though.

Hope I'm not treading in your territory here. I'm putting together a spreadsheet of the T100 and their policies on admission.

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Splitt3r
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Splitt3r » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:43 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
Splitt3r wrote:
Cavalier wrote:Great idea! I think I'll work on something regarding multiple LSAT scores, since that was a subject of great concern to me in the admissions process.


Not to say that you shouldn't, of course, but I'm almost done with an article on the exact same topic. I'm sure Ken will be happy to have the ability to pick from multiple articles on the same topic though.

Hope I'm not treading in your territory here. I'm putting together a spreadsheet of the T100 and their policies on admission.


It'd be fine even if you were, but mine is going to be a bit more in-depth on the topic, so there probably won't be too much overlap.

linquest
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby linquest » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:31 pm

FeuerFrei wrote:Hey guys, I know I'm new to the forum but I've been lurking around for a while. Don't know if requesting topics is inappropriate but someone can smite me if it is.

I'm leaning pretty strongly toward PI and haven't seen much on TLS about it aside from that is has shit $$, better hours, and you can work as an ADA. I'd be really interested in an article on a more complete examination of PI (classes you take for PI, how law school differs for PI people than for biglaw people, L1 and L2 summer jobs, potential careers, LRAP, etc.).


I'd love to write about this seeing as I'm one of the few PI people here, it seems. Sadly will have to wait until after the stupid Bar Exam :P

AtticusFinch
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby AtticusFinch » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:43 pm

Ken wrote:Hey Arrow,

Your great post on succeeding in law school, which I do anticipate will become an article, is definitely going to be in the contest. And for those who are eager, getting more than one prize is certainly possible. I want to reward those who work hard to improve TLS. Your writing about transfering and the first year sound great. Just as an FYI, there could be 2 articles on the same subject that both win prizes and I will just consolidate the articles (and offer dual credit/authorship) or print both if they offer different perspectives. So while it is ideal to have one's own individual topic, it is not a necessity to still win a prize.

As you mentioned Arrow, I do hope for some good articles on OCI, employment, etc. as TLS is by far the best pre-law site out there but I still need to improve TLS content for law students and young lawyers as I want to keep TLS exciting and pertinen

Thanks for your earlier great post Arrow and I look forward to your articles.


Arrows post on how to succeed in law school was by far the best article I have read on TLS.

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Cavalier
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby Cavalier » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:09 pm

In light of a topic I saw today, someone ought to submit a list of "crimes not to commit between getting accepted and starting classes."

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gladiator
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Re: TLS Contest Description

Postby gladiator » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:25 pm

Do I get $100 for my award-winning posts in the UVA C/O 2012 thread and 34,000 post Politics thread? Altruism only pays so many bills. :wink:




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