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Law School Scholarship Essay Contest

The Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., are proud to announce that we will be offering eight scholarships to deserving law school students who author winning essays in our second annual Law School Scholarship Essay Contest.

Law school students who enter our contest will write one essay. The topic must be chosen from our list of three topics, which are explained in more detail below. The topics focus on:

  • Nursing home abuse and negligence
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to diagnose patients in hospitals and clinics.

Our goal is to support students’ educational efforts while raising awareness about these important issues.

We were pleased to receive many outstanding essays in last year’s inaugural contest. (Please see our list of the 2013 Law School Scholarship Essay Contest winners.)

Due to the popularity of social media and the ability to reach a wide number of people to educate them about the issues of nursing home abuse and neglect, distracted driving and diagnostic errors, we have added a public voting aspect to this year’s contest.

We are now accepting submissions. The deadline for submitting essays will be Monday, June 9, 2014.

Please carefully read through our contest rules below and don’t let the submission deadline pass without taking advantage of this exciting opportunity.

Good luck to everyone!


There will be eight scholarships awarded to winning essays in the amounts of:

• First Prize $2,500
• Second Prize $1,500
• Third Prize $500
• Honorable Mention (five awards at this level) $100

Type of Scholarships

Each winner of this essay contest will be awarded a check from the law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. These funds must be used to pay for law school tuition and / or law school-related expenses.


To be eligible for an award in our essay contest, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old and
  • Currently enrolled in an American Bar Association-approved institution, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School or any law school provisionally approved. A list can be found at the ABA’s list of approved law schools.

Additionally, you must:

  • Verify you have read and understand the Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. Law School Scholarship Essay Contest Rules by submitting a signed and scanned copy of our downloadable Application Form.
  • Submit a readable copy of your essay (only one essay per law student is allowed).
  • Submit a digital photo of yourself.

Please send your application form, essay and photo by email to scholarship@salvilaw.com by the deadline of Monday, June 9, 2014. Please use “Law School Scholarship Essay Contest” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Essay Length / Limit

The essay must be no fewer than 750 and no more than 1,500 words long. Again, only one essay per student is allowed to be entered.

Essay Content

The essay you choose to write must be on one of the following topics:

Topic #1: Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

A recently released U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study suggests that one in three patients at skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. suffer injuries, much of which can be attributed to substandard care. Please write an essay that examines these questions:

  • What problems exist within our nation’s nursing homes?
  • What solutions have been proposed and/or implemented around the country, including in Illinois, to address these problem?
  • Can our civil justice system play a role in improving the quality of care in nursing homes?

Feel free to share any personal experiences you may have with this issue, including your observations of a family member’s treatment in a nursing home or your own experience as a worker or volunteer within a nursing home.

Topic #2: Distracted Driving

Numerous states, including Illinois, now have complete or partial bans on texting and talking on cell phones (hand-held and/or hands-free) while driving. However, some critics question whether these laws have been effective. Please write an essay that answers these questions:

  • What similarities and differences exist between your state’s texting / cell phone laws and those in other states?
  • Does research show whether texting / cell phone bans have been effective in reducing the number of distracted driving accidents, including the ban within your state?
  • In addition to anti-distracted driving legislation, can legal claims brought on behalf of distracted driving accident victims help to deter drivers from texting or talking on cell phones while driving?

Please feel free to share whether you have any personal experiences that have shaped your views about the dangers of texting or talking on cell phones while driving and the effectiveness of laws that restrict these activities.

Topic #3: Failure to Diagnose

A study by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that diagnostic errors account for the highest percentage of medical malpractice claims in the U.S. Please write an essay that addresses the following questions:

  • What are the causes and consequences of diagnostic errors?
  • What steps have been proposed and/or implemented to reduce diagnostic errors?
  • Can our civil justice system play a role in forcing hospitals and clinics to improve practices that help to eliminate diagnostic errors?

Please feel free to share whether you have any personal experiences with this issue, including dealing with the consequences of a misdiagnosis of yourself or of a family member.

Selection Process

All application forms, essays and photos must be submitted to scholarship@salvilaw.com by the deadline of Monday, June 9, 2014.

The essays will then be judged by Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. The judging will be based on accuracy, grammar, style and originality. Judges will look for clear, original essays that are logically organized and well-supported.

The judges will select the top eight essays based on the above criteria. These essays will be divided into two groups:

  • Our top three finalists
  • Our five honorable mention winners.

Our top three finalists will be notified of their selection on Monday, June 16, 2014.

On that same date, a page will go live on SalviLaw.com which displays the essays written by the three finalists. A link to the essays will be provided to the finalists when they are notified of their placement.

The top three finalists will then have 30 days, or until Wednesday, July 16, 2014 to garner social media votes for their essays and to request citations (links) from relevant and appropriate sources.

Finalists should encourage friends and family to read their essays through sharing on Facebook, Google+ or via Twitter postings. A specific #hashtag will be used to track the activity.

If your essay is cited and linked to by another trustworthy website or online publication, you will receive credit in the voting tally. Each link will equal 100 votes. However, we reserve the right to exclude any websites from the final tally that we deem irrelevant or inappropriate. Contestants should consider asking your college or university to publicize your essay or ask peers to reference it in their academic work.

Also, please see our Frequently Asked Questions for examples of appropriate and inappropriate citation links.

Shares and mentions in social media sites are encouraged to get your essay visibility. However, these mentions are not counted as citations.

Winners will be determined based on the final number of votes for their essays.

On Monday, July 21, 2014, the first, second and third place winners will be notified of their placement based on voting. On that same date, the five honorable mention winners will be notified as well.

On Monday, July 21, 2014, all eight winners will be announced to the public, and our prizes will be distributed.

Each finalist will have their essay posted on our website, along with their full name, school, photo and bio.

For More Information about the Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. Law School Scholarship Essay Contest, please see our Frequently Asked Questions section. If your question is not answered, you may email scholarship@salvilaw.com.