Friday, August 19, 2016

Student Writing Contest: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

I inherited my penchant for editing.  (My mother once stood up in church to correct her pastor, who began his sermon with "Irregardless. . ." )  I chair the CWCL - College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers - Student Writing Contest Committee.  Indiana Professor Terry Coriden and I (the Committee) review student submissions and determine winners.  We have done so for several years.  We have seen the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  Some entries, such as this year's brilliant co-winners, are a genuine joy to read.

Just look at the impressive winning titles:

Holding a Square Peg and Choosing Between 2 Round Holes: the Challenge Workers' Compensation Law Faces with Uber and the Sharing Economy,  ( by Atty Brad Smith, 2015 Temple  Law grad now practicing in Philadelphia), and

Haters Gonna Hate, But Will Workers' Compensation Pay? An Analysis of Whether Injuries from Hate Crimes are Compensable  under Workers' Compensation Laws, (by Kyle Black, U Pitt  Law, 2015)

These submissions, persuasively argued and substantially footnoted, elevate the practice of workers' compensation and enhance discussion of emerging issues.  Such cutting edge ideas, eloquently proposed, challenge the way we approach workers' compensation claims and claimants.

Sadly, all entries do not approach this level of excellence.  Some essays prompt an almost simultaneous response from me and Terry (after the tenth interposed "there" for "their" or "effect" for "affect") -"How did this person graduate high school, much less gain admission to a law school?"  These less than stellar entries are not unique.  I see similar faux pas each semester in my law school class and in submissions as I edit the Workers' First Watch for the Work Injury Law and Advocacy Group.  Most entries occupy the space between the brilliant and the bad. 

The student writing contest serves one lofty purpose of the CWCL: to encourage scholarship on workers' compensation issues.  I am honored to chair the committee and encourage future submissions.  The Committee offers its congratulations to the two worthy winners this year.  If you know of students who might be interested in competing in this year's competition, please check out this flyer (and feel free to distribute it widely) Download 2016 CWCL Student Writing Contest Flyer (00273082xB8995) 

For more on the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers, click here.

Tom Domer

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