Dan Ryan and Melissa Sikorski know the power of the pen.
In March, third-year student Ryan was chosen as one of two winners of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of international Law 2009 Student Writing Competition, and in January, newly minted graduate Sikorski won first place in the annual writing competition sponsored by the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA).
Ryan’s essay, “The Bush Doctrine of Pre-emption under President Obama,” was originally an assignment for the Law of War course taught by Professor Valerie Epps. The win netted Ryan $1,000 and a trip to the ABA Section of international Law 2009 Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. His essay will also be published in the summer edition of the International Law News and on the ABA Student headquarters web page.
“I hope it will contribute to the dialogue on the use of preemptive force under international law,” says Ryan, president of the international Law Society at Suffolk Law and a member of the Transnational Law Review and the Jessup international Law Moot Court Team.
Sikorski’s inventive paper—on trade secret protection as viewed through the lens of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—won her accolades from the BPLA, which presented her with the $1,000 award for her “well-written, creative” paper at their annual meeting in December. Earlier this year the ABA Section of Science and Technology Law also published the paper in its Sci Tech E-Merging News quarterly electronic newsletter.
Sikorski, who graduated in January, was inspired to write the paper after she noticed an odd similarity between the elements a court considers in cases of trade secret misappropriation and Dahl’s description of Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory.
“I used details from the book and the movies as a sort of fact pattern to illustrate what to consider in creating a trade secret protection plan for my eccentric ‘client,’ Mr. Wonka,” says Sikorski, who focused on intellectual property through the IP Law Concentration. “I wanted to have fun explaining in an interesting way what makes a trade secret protection plan effective.”
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