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Concours de rédaction 2SLGBTQ+
2SLGBTQ+ Writing Contest

2021 Contest Details [en anglais seulement]

Une note sur le bilinguisme — Le concours de rédaction ne recevra que des soumissions en anglais cette année. L'année prochaine, notre objectif est de nous associer avec une organization juridique francophone ou entièrement bilingue afin que le concours soit bilingue. Merci de votre compréhension.

Nelligan Law and OUTLaw are teaming up to recognize two (2) University of Ottawa Common Law students who demonstrate strong writing skills in (1) sharing their experience as a 2SLGBTQ+ law student or (2) analyzing a prescribed scenario relating to the 2SLGBTQ+ law community. The two categories are detailed below. One winner will be selected from each category.

Timeline: The submission deadline has been extended to Friday, October 28, 2021. Results will be announced in November 2021 in the Nelligan Moot Court.

Submission Process (for both categories): Submissions should be in .docx format, 5,000 words or less, double-spaced, using a typical font at 12pt, and should not include the participant’s name in the document text or headings. The file name should include the participant’s name and the category for which the submission is intended: “category#_last_first” (e.g. category1_Doe_Jane). Submissions should be addressed to the Nelligan-OUTLaw Writing Contest Committee and emailed directly to OUTLaw will then assign each submission a number and forward the numbered submission to the selection committee at Nelligan after the submission closes. OUTLaw is overseeing the coordination of submissions so that students can remain anonymous (as much as possible) in their submission of personal experiences or opinion that they may not want a potential employer to be able to attribute to them. Only the names of winners will be known to the firm and to the public.

Contest Category 1 – Experience*


Prize: $1,000


Eligibility criteria: The “Experience” category is open to Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer individuals and individuals of other gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation (2SLGBTQ+) who are enrolled full-time in the JD or a combined program (e.g. JD/MBA) at the University of Ottawa as of September 2021.


Category Guidelines: This category invites participants to discuss how their 2SLGBTQ+ identities have shaped their journey to law school or as a law student. Submissions in this category do not need to take the structure of a legal document (e.g. memo). Participants should feel free to write in the style that best suits the information they wish to share.


Selection criteria: (1) Writing and organization, 20%; (2) reader engagement, 30%; (3) impact of experiences, 50%. “Impact” is up to participants to define and demonstrate. It could entail anything from bringing a unique perspective to a decision-making table to mentoring aspiring 2SLGBTQ+ law students.


Contest Category 2 – Scenario*


Prize: $1,000


Eligibility criteria: The “Scenario” category is open to all individuals enrolled full-time in the JD or a combined program (e.g. JD/MBA) at the University of Ottawa as of September 2021.


Category Guidelines: This category invites participants to address the scenario below. This category is an opportunity for law students, 2SLGBTQ+ identifying or otherwise, to engage with an issue facing the legal profession and to demonstrate advocacy skills as an ally or member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Please state any assumptions you make about the scenario. Submissions in this category must take the form of a legal memo, and citations must conform to the McGill Guide.


Note to 1Ls: We strongly encourage interested 1L students to participate. We created a scenario that does not require much of law school (or at all) to address and think critically about. We also invite 1Ls to consult John C Kleefeld, “Write Me a Memo” (2010) Canadian Legal Education Annual Review at 217 ( for guidance on how to write one of the first memos of their legal career!


Scenario: Your client, Naisa (she/her), is a partner at a large law firm. Naisa identifies as a racialized woman and a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Naisa is heavily involved in the firm’s various initiatives to attract and retain women lawyers and attends all the meetings related to these initiatives. She comes to you for advice after feeling consistently ignored when she raises the importance of considering the different challenges that differently identified women lawyers may face. Specifically, Naisa would like you to help her prepare a memo setting out why it is important to consider the perspectives and experience of 2SLGBTQ+ women lawyers in these contexts. She wants you to rely on secondary materials and Canadian jurisprudence. Her goal is to share the memo with fellow lawyers involved in retention-of-women initiatives at her firm in the hope of shifting the discourse.


Selection criteria: (1) Clear structure with key memo components, 20%; (2) analysis and discussion, 60%; (4) overall 2SLGBTQ+ advocacy, 20%.



* Students who meet the eligibility criteria of both Categories may submit work to both categories. However, each student will only be permitted to receive the prize in one category.

All questions should be directed to

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