Larissa Lee, a second-year law student at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, recently won the National Law Review’s Fall 2013 Student Legal Writing Contest. In the article below, she thanks Professors Richards and Craig for their guidance, encourages her fellow students to submit their articles for publication, and explains the genesis of her winning submission, “We’re Getting Warmer: Why Advising Clients to Disclose Material Risks Associated with Climate Change is Best Practice.”
Q. First, congratulations! To start, can you by briefly describe how you became aware of the competition and what inspired you to enter? Also, what was your reaction when you first learned your article had been honored in the competition?
A. I became aware of this competition through an email sent by Jess Hofberger, the College’s director of Professional Development. The topic needed to be on environmental law and I had written an article that dealt with environmental disclosures and securities law for my law review development, so I decided to throw it in there for fun. I was very surprised and excited when I found out my article had been chosen.
Q. Tell us about the genesis of this article. What is it about and how did you become interested in this subject?
A. This article is about the 2010 Interpretive Guidance issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that recognizes the need for public companies to disclose to investors material risks related to climate change. I learned about this topic at the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) Spring Conference last year. I am interested in securities law so I thought it was a neat way to bring environmental and securities law together.
Q. How did your classes or other opportunities specifically help you to craft a winning law review article? Were there any particular assignments that helped you to refine your abilities?
A. Professor Bill Richards taught me everything I know about legal writing in my Legal Methods class. He also helped me choose this topic. Additionally, the SEER conference was a great opportunity for me to learn about the current issues in environmental law. I was able to attend that conference because of the hard work of Professor Craig in getting me and several other students scholarships so we could attend the event for free.
Q. Would you encourage others to submit their articles or other work product to similar competitions? If so, why?
A. I would definitely encourage others to submit their articles. One of my favorite professors always tells me the key of scholarship is to recycle. If you’ve already gone through the work of writing a paper and want to get it published, submit it everywhere you can.
Q. What are your plans after graduation?
A. I am currently in the process of applying for judicial clerkships after graduation. I am also a summer clerk for Jones Waldo and would like to work there after my judicial clerkship is completed.