Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, October 22, 2021

The ACTEC Foundation Announces Mary Moers Wenig 2021 Student Writing Competition Winners

The following is from an ACTEC press release:

Washington, DC, October 21, 2021: The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Foundation today announced the 2021 winners of the Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition. Five law students' submissions stood out among 21 entries received and reviewed by a panel of judges appointed by the Legal Education Committee of the College. ACTEC Fellow T. Randolph Harris, who chaired the judging process, said, "This year’s entries were outstanding! It was exciting to read such thought-provoking papers."

The ACTEC Foundation supports the annual legal writing competition to encourage law students to create scholarly works in the area of trusts and estates. The first-place winner receives a full-tuition scholarship to the Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning at the University of Miami School of Law for the 2022-2023 or 2023-2024 academic year, a $5,000 cash award and will have their work published in the ACTEC Law Journal. Candidates must apply and be admitted as full-time students to qualify for the scholarship. The second-place winner receives a $3,000 cash award, online publication — featuring their work on ACTEC's website —and possible publication in the ACTEC Law Journal. The competition's third-place recipient is awarded $1,000, online publication on ACTEC's website and possible publication of their work in the ACTEC Law Journal. Honorable mentions usually receive a $500 cash award. 

First place winner, Zachary Carsten of Pepperdine Caruso Law School, said, "I am so honored to be the winner of the 2021 Mary Moers Wenig writing competition, and I am grateful to the editors and staff of the ACTEC Law Journal for selecting my article. I hope it can provide a meaningful contribution in the conversation about physician-assisted suicide as this critical policy debate continues to unfold in the United States."

The 2021 Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition Winners are:

    • First Place: Zachary Carsten of Pepperdine Caruso Law School
      • "Physician-Assisted Death and the Slippery Slope: Carving out an American Ledge"
    • Second Place: Madison L. Orcutt of University of San Diego School of Law
      • "Blood Does Not Necessarily Make a Family (or Any Fraction Thereof): Intestate Succession, Half-Blood Siblings, and Assisted Reproductive Technology"
    • Third Place: Daniel Fein of New York University School of Law
      • "A Defense of Perpetual Trusts"
    • Honorable Mention: Christopher John Benos of University of Virginia School of Law
      • "Trust Protectors as Fiduciaries: Three Approaches and Beyond the UDTA"
    • Honorable Mentions: Peter Mezey of New York University School of Law
      • "On Estate of Elkins and a New Path to Valuation of Collectibles?"

About the ACTEC Foundation: The ACTEC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel or ACTEC. The ACTEC Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) that offers education to families and professionals and supports students interested in the trust and estate area of the law. Through continued financial support, The ACTEC Foundation offers professional development, scholarships and education for a number of important efforts, including legal education, educational support, public initiatives, legal publications and the student editorial board.

About the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel: Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a national organization of approximately 2,500 lawyers, peer-elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as a trust and estate counselor. Our members, "Fellows," are the best and brightest in trust and estate practice, with decades of experience representing and advising families. ACTEC offers technical comments about the law and its effective administration but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.


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