Baylor Law Crowns Champions of the 2024 The Ultimate Writer Legal Writing Competition

April 10, 2024
The winners of the Ultimate Writer Legal Writing Competition pose together after the announcement ceremony.
Winners of the 2024 The Ultimate Writer Legal Writing Competition. (L-R) Courtney Conner, Brendan Fowler, Tiffani Skroch, Stephen Hirschbuehler, Tiffany Dunkin, Olivia Womack. (Not shown: Riley Zoch)

During an intimate ceremony at Baylor Law on Tuesday, April 9, Baylor Law’s legal writing team announced the winners of the 2024 Ultimate Writer Legal Writing Competition. In the presence of the Baylor Law faculty, staff, and students, Interim Associate Dean and Legal Writing Director Matt Cordon announced that Stephen Hirschbuehler clinched the top spot, securing a commendable victory and a prize of $8,000. Following closely, Tiffani Skroch claimed second place, earning a $1,500 award, and Brendan Fowler secured third place with a $500 prize. The competition witnessed strong competition, with Tiffany Dunkin, Olivia Womack, and Riley Zoch emerging as semifinalists, all tied for fourth place. Additionally, Courtney Conner received honorable mention.

Tiffani Skroch, Stephen Hirschbuehler, and Brendan Fowler pose with their glass trophies after winning the Ultimate Writer Competition.
(L-R) The top three winners, Tiffani Skroch, Stephen Hirschbuehler, and Brendan Fowler pose after winning the 2024 Ultimate Writer Competition.

As part of the announcement ceremony, Dean Cordon extended Baylor Law’s gratitude to Charlie Frazier of Alexander Dubose Jefferson LLP and Kirk Pittard of Durham, Pittard & Spalding, LLP, for their invaluable assistance in judging the competition. 

Now in its eighth year, the rigorous writing contest tasked competitors with crafting a motion to strike affirmative defenses in an answer. Their arguments were centered on applying United States Supreme Court decisions in Twombly and Iqbal to defensive pleadings. This challenge tested their legal acumen and persuasive writing skills. Retired professor Greg White formulated the problem, while the collective expertise of Baylor Law’s legal writing faculty fine-tuned the case packet, ensuring a robust and challenging competition.

Dean Cordon remarked on this year’s entries, “The caliber of entries continues to climb with each passing year, and I couldn’t be prouder of the exemplary writing and analytical skills exhibited during this year’s competition.” 

Stephen Hirschbuehler will graduate in the Spring of 2024. He will then clerk for Hon. Priscilla Richman, the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Austin, and then through the 2025-2026 term for Hon. Jeffrey V. Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Galveston. After the winner announcement, Hirschbuehler noted, “This win means a lot. It gives me confidence in stepping into my next roles where I’ll be doing a lot of legal writing. It also gives me gratitude for the writing staff here at Baylor Law who have invested in my legal writing career thus far.” Hirschbuehler added, “Thank you so much to Dean Cordon for heading up the writing program; all my writing professors have been phenomenal.” 

The Ultimate Writer Competition owes its success in no small part to the generous financial support of The Lisa and Charlie Frazier Endowed Fund for Excellence in Writing at Baylor Law, the underwriter of the competition, and Pittard, who provides vital sponsorship. Their ongoing commitment ensures the competition’s continuation as a cornerstone of Baylor Law’s intramural competitions, enriching the academic experience of its students and cultivating the legal leaders of tomorrow.