The 2016 Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Competition


Administered by Public Citizen, the Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Competition is soliciting submissions.

Class Actions and Environmental Law

As courts and legislators have made it more difficult to bring effective class actions, can class actions continue to advance environmental objectives and hold polluters accountable?


  • $5,000
  • Complimentary 2016 Public Citizen membership

Essays may focus on these or other related questions:

  • How do evolving standards of “commonality” affect environmental class actions?
  • How might major environmental problems that we are facing be amenable to class treatment?
  • How would these actions be brought? What damage recoveries and other results may be sought?

The Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Competition is sponsored by R. Ben Hogan III of Hogan Law Office, PC, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Gerson H. Smoger of Smoger & Associates in Dallas, Texas, and Oakland, California. It is administered by Public Citizen. Click here for further details about the competition.

Competition Details

Submission Deadline: Submissions must be emailed on or before Saturday, April 30, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, to Amanda Fleming at Papers emailed after this date will not be considered.

Eligibility: The competition is open to all current law students and all masters of law students. Co-authored submissions are eligible; if selected, the co-authors will share the prize. Each submission must be an original, unpublished academic work, but simultaneous submissions will be accepted. If a submission has been accepted for publication, the student should include the journal’s written consent to the posting of the paper on Public Citizen’s website, which will feature appropriate attribution.

Content: Essay submissions are sought on the topic “Class Actions and Environmental Law.”

Format: Submissions must be emailed as Microsoft Word documents. They may be full-length law review articles or shorter academic essays. The word count may be between 6,000 and 25,000 words, not including footnotes. Essays should use footnotes (not endnotes).

Judging Process: A panel of lawyers, including law professors and practitioners, will judge the submissions based on depth of analysis, quality of writing, originality, and thoroughness.

Winning Submission and Prizes: The winner will be notified by email, and the winning paper will be posted on Public Citizen’s website. The winner will receive $5,000 and a complementary one-year Public Citizen membership. Only one winning paper will be chosen and awarded the prizes.