Essay competition

All UBC Law students are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Phi Delta Phi essay competition, a long-standing tradition that has returned to the UBC campus in fall 2011.

The competition will be a great chance to flex intellectual muscle, compete for bragging rights, and demonstrate your interest and passion for legal issues on a resume. Oh, and prizes too!

For the current challenge, honours of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be awarded. Essays will be evaluated on:

  • evidence of original and creative thought
  • analysis, accuracy, and relevant application of the law
  • clarity and brevity
  • proper use of spelling and grammar

The essay topic is as follows:


Are legal ethics important to the day-to-day practice of law? Defend your choice.


The choice of topic draws on the emphasis Peter Allard placed on ethics in his opening remarks for the new building at UBC Law. However, recognizing a diversity of perspectives, students are welcome to argue either for or against the statement.

Submissions are due at 3:00pm on Friday, October 28, 2011.

Essay submissions:

  • Submissions should be made in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format
  • Times New Roman 12pt font with one inch margins
  • No more than 1,000 words (approximately 4 pages double-spaced)
  • Please include a title page with your name, date, essay title, and word count
  • Students are free to draw on their past interests and writings when crafting a submission for the essay competition
  • Submit to (at)
  • Any questions about the essay competition can be sent to the same address.

The Phi Delta Phi essay competition is a long-standing tradition at the UBC Law chapter. In the not too distant past, Chief Justice McLachlin herself came to speak at the close of the competition. However, recognizing that we are bringing the competition back after a hiatus, the 2011 challenge is structured so as to be very accessible to student participants: a low word count, an accessible topic, and a short time frame in which to prepare a submission.