Please see below for key dates, competition rules and how to submit your entry. We are accepting essays until 28 February 2022.

To celebrate our 15th anniversary, the ILBF will launch its first essay competition on 25 November 2021 at its 15th anniversary event hosted by Brown Rudnick LLP at Two Temple Place. Speakers at our event include Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, Lord Chief Justice, and Professor Richard Susskind OBE. You can register to join us on 25 November here.

The competition is open to all undergraduate law students in the UK.

The ILBF Law Student Essay Competition is an opportunity for all those currently studying law at a UK university as an undergraduate to think about how the practice of law will be transformed over the next decade, engage with legal practitioners, and have the chance to win an exciting prize. The essay topic is:

Looking back from 2030 what should we do now to transform the legal profession (including by the use of machine learning technology) to ensure access to justice for all and that the profession is as diverse as the communities and businesses it serves.

Max word limit: 2000

Key dates

  • 25 November 2021: Launch of competition by The Rt Hon. the Lord Burnett of Maldon, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales through live video link
  • 1 December 2021 5pm-6pm: Online Q&A with competition judging team through live video link
  • 28 February 2022 4pm: Deadline for submissions
  • 31 March 2022 4pm: Announcement of winner by Lord Thomas and Prof. Susskind



  • Week long internship in 2022 at international law firm Brown Rudnick’s London office with up to £500 travel expenses
  • Publication of the winning essay in the IBA Litigation Committee newsletter in May 2022
  • Publication of the winning essay on the websites of ILBF and Brown Rudnick


  • Publication of the essays of the 2 runners-up on the websites of ILBF and Brown Rudnick

Competition Judges

  • The Rt Hon. the Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Patron of and driving force behind the ILBF
  • Prof. Richard Susskind OBE, world renowned author of “Tomorrow’s Lawyers” and President of the Society of Computers and Law

Competition Judging Team

  • Katrina Crossley, CEO of the ILBF
  • Paul Lowenstein, QC and Chairman of the ILBF Board of Trustees
  • Maryann McMahon, Morgan Stanley and ILBF Trustee
  • Jane Colston, Brown Rudnick and ILBF Trustee
  • Ellen Lake, Clifford Chance and ILBF Operating Committee
  • Yasmin Hassan, Edmonds Marshall McMahon
  • Chiara Iorizzo, McDermott Will & Emery
  • James Yang, KCL Law Society

The ILBF supports the rule of law and access to justice for all through sharing legal knowledge. Since our foundation over 15 years ago, we have distributed more than 70,000 legal textbooks to over 200 organisations in 54 countries across Africa, Asia, South America, Caribbean, Europe and the Pacific. Our books support law students, teachers, lawyers and judges. For more information on how we make a difference, see: ILBF 15th Anniversary Film 2020.

Competition rules and how to submit your entry

1. The ILBF law student essay competition is open to all undergraduates studying law at an institution in the UK.

2. The word count for the essay is between 1800 – 2000 words. The word count does not include the essay title or any footnotes. Footnotes should be set out at the end of the essay and should not be excessive and a bibliography is not required. Any essays over 2,000 words will be automatically rejected.

3. Referencing should be in the style of OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities). Follow this link to the OSCOLA quick reference guide.

4. Essays should be submitted as a Word Document and emailed to from your university email account, not from your personal email account.

5. The subject line of the email should be surname, first name and university ID (from your student card).

6. Please insert your surname, first name and year of undergraduate study at the top of the essay. Eg, [Surname], [first name], 1st year undergraduate

7. Once you submit your essay, you will receive an automatic reply to indicate that the essay has been received.

8. Any queries about the essay competition can be sent to before you submit your essay. 

9. The deadline for submission of entries is 4pm on 28th February 2022. Judging will take place during March 2022 and the judges’ decision will be final.

10. The winner will be announced at 4pm on 31st March 2022 by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd and Professor Richard Susskind OBE.

Best of luck!