In 1968, Edinburgh Law School alumnus Sir Charles Fraser’s seminal article on the future of the legal profession was published by the Law Society of Scotland (C.A. Fraser, The Future of the Profession (1968); C.A. Fraser, “Computers” [1968] Journal of the Law Society of Scotland 493). In it, Sir Charles predicted a number of issues that came to pass, including a trend towards bigger law firms and that the computer would dramatically impact legal practice. To commemorate this, and to identify how the future of the legal profession looks now, Edinburgh Law School and the Law Society of Scotland are running an essay competition for current Edinburgh Law School students to identify how the future of the legal profession looks today.

This essay competition is open to all undergraduate, post-graduate taught and diploma in legal practice students enrolled at Edinburgh Law School in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Competition entries will be judged by a panel that will include Sir Charles Fraser, Dr Jonny Hardman, and a representative of the Law Society of Scotland.

Prize

A prize of £500 will be awarded to the winner of the competition. This sum has been set with a view to enabling the prize-winner to take up opportunities for vacation work that might otherwise be inaccessible given travel and accommodation costs. The winning entry will be published in the Journal (the Law Society of Scotland’s monthly journal) subject to such editorial changes as may be proposed by the editor.

A second prize of £250 will be awarded to the runner-up.

The judges may, at their discretion, select additional essays for special commendation.

Subject

Your essay should develop an argument in respect of the future of the legal profession. Your essay can focus on any aspect of the future aspect of the legal profession (demographic, economic, cultural, or otherwise), and the judges particularly welcome submissions which consider the future effect of technology.  

Word limit and style

Your essay must be no longer than 1,500 words, including all footnotes.

Footnotes/endnotes should be in Edinburgh Law Review format. Bibliographies are not required.

Essays should be typed and submitted in Word format, using size 12 font.

Submission process

Essays must be submitted to jonathan.hardman@ed.ac.uk by no later than 5pm on Friday 29 October 2021. The winner and runner-up will be announced in the first two weeks of Semester 2. Your covering email should include a statement that the essay you are submitting is entirely your own work, except for where otherwise indicated, as well as a statement of the word count (again, including footnotes).