Equity essay competition sponsored by Ashfords LLP

Are you a UWE Bristol student or recent graduate? Do you want to be in with a chance of winning one of three cash prizes of £2,000? The Equity essay competition, sponsored by Ashfords LLP, is now live!

This competition is open to BAME students and recent graduates from any faculty at UWE Bristol. Enter by answering the legal essay question that corresponds with the year of study that you are in or have just finished. The word limit for all of the essays is 1,500 words and the deadline for submissions is 23:59 on 11 October 2019.

Essay questions

Levels 0 and 1 (Foundation Year and Year 1) – Diversity/corporate social responsibility

Record numbers of BAME students are attending university, up from 13% to 20% between 2002/03 and 2016/17. However, BAME graduates are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to their white peers and the pay gap between black and white male graduates was recorded as 17% in 2018.

Critically assess the barriers that prevent ethnic minority graduates from gaining employment in the legal sector. In your essay, suggest recommendations that could make the industry more accessible.

Levels 2 and 3 (Years 2 and 3) – Legal tech/artificial intelligence

“The legal sector has generally been slow in embracing innovation. But now the legal technology market is evolving fast… Businesses don’t have endless cash to invest, and it’s important to understand the most pressing issues and areas most suited to automation to maximise efficiencies.” (Legal Technology: A Quick Glance at the Market, Ashfords LLP).

Critically analyse the challenges and opportunities that developments in the legal tech sphere present to a law firm like Ashfords LLP.

Postgraduate courses – SMEs

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) play a vital role in driving economic growth and productivity at both a regional and national level. It is estimated that by 2025, SMEs in the top 10 cities in the UK will contribute £241 billion to the economy. However, despite their immense contribution to economic growth and development, a number of SMEs continue to experience high failure rates due to different challenges they encounter.

Critically discuss and analyse the key legal and business challenges faced by SMEs today. In your essay, put forward recommendations on how some of these challenges could be overcome.

How to apply

Competition rules

  • This competition is open to students in any discipline enrolled on a course at UWE Bristol for the 2018/19 academic year who are/were registered as both UK domiciled (Home/EU fee status) and Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME). This includes students who graduated in 2019.
  • Entrants are tasked with writing an essay, answering the question above that corresponds with their level of study during the 2018/19 academic year. Given that the prize sponsor is a Law firm, the questions have a legal focus. We recognise that students who are studying or have previously studied Law will be at an advantage. However, we encourage submissions from students who study in other departments and faculties across the university.
  • The winner of each category will receive a cash prize of £2,000 and a certificate to be awarded at a University award ceremony.
  • The word limit for this competition is 1,500 words (not including footnotes).
  • Please ensure that you provide the following details on the first page of your essay document:
    • full name and student number
    • year of study (as per the 2018/19 academic year)
    • essay question (not included in word count)
    • word count.
  • Please ensure that you adhere to the principles of good academic practice and use the OSCOLA referencing system to reference your work. Failure to properly reference your work to original source material may result in your submission being excluded from the competition.
  • Essays should be submitted in Microsoft Word format only with 12 point font, Times New Roman or Arial. Please also include a full bibliography.
  • Any essay submitted as part of the competition must be the sole creation and original work of the entrant. Essays must not have been submitted for an assessment, published or committed for publication in any journals.
  • Ashfords LLP, UWE Bristol and the Equity programme at UWE Bristol reserve the first right of publication for prize winning submissions.

Submitting your essay

  • Essays should be submitted via email to: equity@uwe.ac.uk with the subject line: ‘Equity x Ashfords Essay Competition – Your Name'. Please submit your entry using your University email address.
  • The competition deadline is: 23:59 on Friday 11 October 2019.

Evaluation criteria

Essays will be evaluated based on:

  • quality of analysis (is it convincing, substantiated and understandable?)
  • thoroughness of research (types and varieties of source material, eg case law, journal articles, books etc.)
  • originality (even though the topic may have been discussed in various publications, is the author's approach innovative?)
  • quality of writing (style, clarity and structure).

Back to top