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Penn College Launches Legal Assistant Student Writing Competition

Pennsylvania College of Technology has begun an exciting nationwide initiative to promote greater professionalism and academic training among paralegals.

Starting this month, the College launches the 2000 Legal Assistant Student Writing Competition, the first of its kind among paralegal/legal assistant students.

The goal of the competition is to influence paralegal students to write discerning articles for publication, and the College and the competition’s sponsors hope to advance various social and professional concerns for legal-assistant practice.

Sponsors include the McCormick Law Firm and the law firm of Lepley, Engleman & Yaw, both of Williamsport; Juris Tech, Inc., a law-practice service firm specializing in expert-witness retention; and Pearson Publications Co., a legal-assistant curriculum publisher.

One of the top five articles will be published in “Legal Assistant Today” magazine, a nationally recognized leader in the publication of legal-assistant news and education. Cash prizes to be awarded are $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $100 for third-place entries.

The faculty member and the students in the College’s Senior Legal Assistant Project (bachelor’s program) will have a unique role in the contest they will select the top 12 to 15 merited submissions. Those selections will be forwarded to the corporate/partnership sponsors, who will select the top five articles. “Legal Assistant Today” magazine will choose one of those five articles to be published later this year.

Anyone is eligible who between January and March of this year is a full-time or part-time student in a two- or four-year paralegal or legal assistant program from a college, university or private school (post-high school).

Topics that the articles may examine include the legal assistant and the bankruptcy practice; the legal assistant and the family law practice; legal assistant professionalism and ethical concerns; the legal assistant and consumer-protection law; and the legal assistant and law-office administration.

All entries should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words. They will be judged upon clear and concise writing style, thorough research of the topic, accurate citation form and beneficial choice of topic.

Submissions must be postmarked no later than Thursday, March 30. Entry forms and complete contest rules and conditions can be obtained by writing to: Legal Assistant Student Writing Competition, Attention: S. Layne Russell, Esq., Assistant Professor, School of Business and Computer Technologies, Pennsylvania College of Technology, One College Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701.

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