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Crane Disability and the Law Writing Competition Launch

September 25, 2014

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Dean Thomas Guernsey announced the September launch of the First Annual Jameson Crane III Disability and the Law Writing Competition. Made possible by the generous gift of TJSL alumnus Jim Crane ‘13, the national competition aims to encourage outstanding student scholarship at the intersection of law and medicine, or law and the social sciences. Open to currently enrolled U.S. law students, medical students, and doctoral candidates in related fields, the competition promotes understanding of legal issues related to disability, furthers the development of legal rights and protections, and improves the lives of those with disabilities.

“The Crane competition demonstrates our law school’s commitment to excellence in legal and policy analysis for underserved populations,” said Dean Guernsey. “Improving life for the disabled requires changing attitudes and assumptions. Our hope is that the Crane competition will provide a forum for such change,” he noted.

Competition submissions may address any legal topic related to disability law, including issues regarding employment, government services and programs, public accommodations, education, higher education, housing, and health care. An independent panel of experts will judge submissions anonymously based on originality, topic complexity, research quality, organization and analysis, and writing quality to select three winners. The first place winner will receive $1,500, while two-second place winners will each receive $1,000. The Thomas Jefferson Law Review will also consider the first place submission for publication.

TJSL Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp is coordinating the competition. She noted that, “disability law is a rich and complex area of the law, and one we take seriously at the law school.”  In fact, TJSL has recently signed the ABA Commission on Disability Rights’ “Pledge for Change.”  The Pledge for Change commits legal employers to pursuing diversity in the profession with an emphasis on disability diversity. TJSL is now on the Commission’s Diversity Honor Roll.

All competition submissions must be made electronically to by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, January 15, 2015. Winners will be announced by April 15, 2015. Further details about the competition are available here. Any questions may be directed to Professor Bisom-Rapp at