The Environmental Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association is sponsoring an Annual Writing Competition, titled the Jon E. Hastings Memorial Award, in memory of one of its outstanding founding members. 

$1,200.00 Cash Prize Pool • Entries Due April 1, 2019

This is a juried award selection for the best legal writing on a topic of Tennessee or federal environmental law.


Law Students enrolled in a Tennessee law school in 2018 or 2019.


Law students who comply with these criteria may submit an entry in accordance with the Rules of Competition.  The Rules of Competition are available from Environmental Law professors or may be obtained by sending an email to Jarod Word at the Tennessee Bar Association, jword@tnbar.org.


One of the primary purposes of the Environmental Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association is to improve environmental compliance in Tennessee. We accomplish this goal through a number of means including assisting our members to stay current on issues and promoting a dialogue on substantive environmental law topics.

The Jon E. Hastings Memorial Award Writing Competition has several goals including the following:

  1. To improve the understanding of environmental law in Tennessee through the publication of scholarly articles on pertinent and timely environmental law topics;
  2. To strengthen the relationship among environmental law professors, environmental law students, and environmental practitioners in Tennessee;
  3. To recognize Jon E. Hastings, a founding member of the Tennessee Environmental Law Section, for his contributions to the body of environmental law in the State of Tennessee.

To accomplish these goals, the Environmental Law Section is pleased to extend an opportunity to law students to participate in a writing competition.  The winning entry or entries will be published in the Newsletter of the Environmental Law Section.

This competition will be judged by a panel of environmental law practitioners, members of the judiciary, and/or professors selected by the Environmental Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association. The Award Winning paper(s) must be released from copyright or other restrictions for the purpose of publication in the Newsletter.


Jon E. Hastings was a founding member of the Environmental Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association, and an attorney with Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry, PLC who passed away at the young age of 45 on August 22, 2004 after a two-year battle with cancer.  Jon was a proud member of the Environmental Law Section and an outstanding lawyer in the fields of environmental, telecommunications, and public utility law.  Jon was listed in the 2003 – 2004 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, and found the energy to devote time on behalf of numerous philanthropic causes and civic groups.


A Review Panel selected by the Environmental Law Section, Tennessee Bar Association, will review the submittals and recommend the award winner(s).  The Panel will anonymously judge the papers based on:

  1. Quality of writing;
  2. Quality of research and support for thesis;
  3. Originality of topic;
  4. Relevancy or timeliness of the subject.

The Review Panel recommendations will be submitted to the Environmental Law Section, which will make the final decision concerning prize awards.  The Environmental Law Section may delegate responsibility for writing competition decisions to its Chair or to one or more of its other members.

There is a total cash prize pool of $1,200.  The Environmental Law Section reserves the right to award the entire prize pool to a single winning entry or to award cash prizes to two or more entries, splitting the total cash prize pool among the winning entries in the manner deemed appropriate by the Section.

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Must be a law student enrolled in a Tennessee law school during 2018 or 2019.
  • The topic of the entry must be on a relevant subject of Tennessee or federal environmental or natural resource law. Energy law subjects will not be accepted.
  • Relevant articles, case comments, notes, or essays may be submitted for competition, including writing submitted for academic credit. Jointly authored articles are not eligible.
  • Entries can be any length up to 15 pages, including the text, footnotes, endnotes and citations. The title page (see below) does not count against the maximum page count.  Citation style must conform to the current edition of The Bluebook:  A Uniform System of Citation.

The following information must be included on a separate title page:

  1. Title of paper
  2. Author’s name
  3. Mailing address, telephone numbers and e-mail address where the author can be reached.
  4. Name of law school
  5. Year of expected graduation
  6. A certification that the author has reviewed and meets the terms for eligibility for the contest.
  • The title page does not count in the page limit.  The contestant’s name and other identifying markings such as school name are not to be on any page of the entry other than the title page.
  • Entries must be submitted electronically formatted for standard, 8 ½” x 11” paper, 12-point font, double-space, with 1-inch margins, in Microsoft Word format.
  • Entries must be emailed no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on April 1, 2019.  Please email essays to Jarod Word at jword@tnbar.org.  You will receive a confirmation email.  Questions about the contest should also be emailed to the above address.