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About the Award

The Best International Future Lawyer Award is granted by AIJA, the International Association of Young Lawyers, for the best written Essay submitted before May 15.

This is a prestigious opportunity to show law students’ potential to their future colleagues and employers. The Award is open to any law students who are aged 45 and under and are still enrolled at any university worldwide at the time the Paper is submitted.

Participating is very easy and can make you fly very high!

The topic for the Award 2017 is “The impact of technology on the law and/or on the legal profession”. Application period starts on 1 February 2017.

The winner 2016

With her essay on “Governing Shared Natural Resources of the International Seabed Area”, Sharefah Almuhana won the Best International Future Lawyer Award 2016. The Jury, composed of three AIJA Executive Committee Members, considered unanimously this paper the best one for this year’s award.

Sharefah’s research attempts to establish a strategy to distribute the potential outcomes from exploiting the natural resources existing in common and global property areas, namely, the International Seabed Area (the Area), which is located beyond the limits of national jurisdictions and is rich in valuable mineral deposits such as nickel, copper, cobalt, iron, and manganese. The huge deposits found beneath the oceans are commercially sound and estimated to satisfy the energy needs of the world for centuries.

Sharefah Almuhana graduated in May 2016 from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, OH, U.S.A, with S.J.D – Doctoral Degree in Law. Sharefah also holds LLB and LLM both are from Kuwait University School of Law. Before going to the U.S. Sharefah served in the Kuwaiti Government as a “Legal Researcher” at the Ministry of Public Works of Kuwait. She is currently “Legal Intern” in a U.S. Immigration Law firm in Laramie, WY, U.S.A where she is learning about the U.S. Immigration Law and exposing to humanitarian cases regarding refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking. Sharefah scholarly and researching interests include all aspects of the public and international law.

Read here the essay


The Winner will be honoured with:

Free AIJA Membership until 2020.

Publication of the Winner’s name and Essay’s title on AIJA’s website, social media and various communication channels.

Invitation to attend free of charge the 2017 International Young Lawyers’ Congress taking place in Tokyo, Japan, on 28 August - 1 September.


  • 1 February

    are accepted
    as from

  • 15 May

    to submit
    your Essay

Terms & conditions

  1. Description: The Best International Future Lawyer Award 2017 (the “Award”) is granted by AIJA for the best written essay (the “Essay”) submitted on any topic in the field of internationally related law.
  2. Eligible candidates: Law students aged 45 and under who are still enrolled at any university worldwide at the time the Paper is submitted (“Eligible Candidates”). Eligible Candidates may be pursuing law studies at any level -including graduate or postgraduate studies- to the extent they are not yet admitted to practice and/or licensed in their jurisdiction. AIJA membership is not a requirement to submit application. Eligible Candidates may only submit one individual or joint Essay per year. Previous winners of this or any other AIJA award or scholarship are also excluded from the Competition. All other Eligible Candidates from previous years may reapply.
  3. Submission Format: an electronic application submitted through the website form available here. Joint papers are eligible, but all authors must be Eligible Candidates at the time of submission.
  4. Deadline: Essays are due on 15 May 2017. AIJA will start accepting Essays on 1 February 2017. Submission deadlines will be strictly observed; late Essays will not be accepted.
  5. Essay requirements:
    1. The paper may be the outcome of an Eligible Candidate’s assignment at University or the full or revised version of the Eligible Candidate’s graduate thesis.
    2. It must be about the following topic “The impact of technology on the law and/or on the legal profession”.
    3. It must be written in English or in French.
    4. The text must be double-spaced, with twelve-point Times New Roman font and one-inch margins, in A4 paper-size.
    5. Between 10 and 15 pages, including footnotes.
    6. It must be divided into; (I) Executive Summary; (II) The Question(s) Presented section; (III) the Statement of the Facts / Statement of the Case section; (IV) the Argument section and (V) Conclusion.
    7. Anonymous. Essays need to be anonymous. Identifying information will be part of the submission form. Essays must not identify the university name or location. AIJA may disqualify any Essay that includes such identifying information.
  6. Evaluation:
    1. Anonymisation: AIJA will allocate a secret associative code to each set of Entry Form and Essay. Each Essay will be then detached from its Entry Form and only the former will be provided to the Evaluators, so as to make sure neither the Eligible Candidate’s identity nor his University are known by any of the Evaluators. Once the Award is granted to the winning Essay, AIJA will re-attach it to its Entry Form by using the secret associative code to know the Winner.
    2. Evaluators: The evaluation will be done by a panel of selected judges chosen by the Membership Forum of AIJA. There will be an evaluation panel consisting of an uneven number (at least three) of Evaluators. The Evaluators will read the anonymised Essays and will select one as the winner by majority of votes (the “Winner”).
    3. Evaluation Criteria: Essays will be evaluated on quality of research and analysis and novelty, profundity and overall contribution of the Essay to legal knowledge. Bearing in mind that part or most of the Eligible Candidates may not be native English or French speakers, Evaluators will nonetheless take into consideration the Essay’s grammar, spelling, usage and syntax, clarity, structure, and overall appearance. Eligible Candidates shall have no claim to be awarded the Award, even if all prerequisites are met. The decisions made by the Evaluators cannot be appealed against.
  7. Prize: The Winner will be honoured with:
    1. Free AIJA membership for the three years following the award ceremony.
    2. Publication of the Winner’s name and Essay’s title on AIJA’s website newsletters, etc.
    3. Invitation to that year’s AIJA Annual Congress, where the Winner (i) might be required to present a summary of the Essay at the relevant Commission’s meeting and/or working session; and (ii) will be granted an Award certificate during the Congress. The Winner will be exempted from paying registration fees. In addition, AIJA will pay for economy travelling expenses and accommodation. The Winner will also receive a specific badge.
    4. When the winning Essay is a co-authored paper, the prizes described in (a) and (c) above will have to be divided between the co-authors, either in the way jointly indicated by them or in the way decided by AIJA if the former are unable to reach an agreement on how to divide the prizes.
  8. Copyright: AIJA shall be fully entitled to publish, both in hard copy and electronically, the winning Essay in any AIJA’s publication in any format or language. The Winner will be fully accredited as author.

Application form

1. Personal information

2. Author(s) of the essay

3. Title of the essay

4. Annexes

Please attach the following:

a) Copy of your passport or ID (as a .jpg or .png image or .pdf)

b) Your Essay in Word format (as a .doc or .docx file). See requirements here

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