Nabutsingso Hoshut of UNT Dallas School of Law Emerges Victorious in The Paper Chase, Texas Law School’s Premier Legal Writing Competition
On Thursday, January 31, Baylor Law announced that Nabutsingso Hoshut of the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law has been declared the champion of the latest edition of The Paper Chase, Baylor Law’s acclaimed legal writing competition for Texas law school students. According to the Texas Young Lawyer Association (TYLA) Judges, Ms. Hoshut submitted the winning entry. Second place was awarded to Lauren Bush, and third place to Sarah Chavey, both from the University of Texas School of Law. The high-stakes legal writing competition stands out for its challenging real-world writing prompt, a significant cash prize award of $5,000 for the first-place winner, and a total of $7,000 in prize money thanks to generous underwriting by FVF Law of Austin.
This annual competition consistently distinguishes itself from other legal writing competitions by challenging participants to craft practical, efficient legal documents, rather than traditional essays, under tight time constraints. This year, Baylor Law received the largest pool of entries ever, with eight different Texas law schools participating. At least one student from each school earned a spot among the top entries, according to judges from the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA).
The competition’s success is due to the tireless efforts of Professor Lee Ann James, who oversaw the event, Adjunct Professor Greg White, who developed this year’s complex problem, and other Baylor Law writing faculty members who played pivotal roles in refining and editing the competition materials. This year’s problem focused on a § 1983 case involving a plaintiff’s allegations of arrest in retaliation for expressing political views. The defendant, a Texas municipality, contended that the arrest was based on probable cause for disorderly conduct, challenging the causal connection required by Nieves v. Bartlett. Competitors were tasked with preparing a response to the city’s motion to dismiss.
At the end of the competition, Professor James noted, “As all attorneys are aware, the legal writing skills of analysis and persuasion are paramount to the successful representation of our clients.” She added, “Baylor Law enjoys hosting this competition in which students are challenged to draft documents required in real practice and under similar time constraints. We were particularly pleased this year with the record number of submissions and schools participating. Those chosen as the top ten entries should be extremely proud of their accomplishment.”
2023 THE PAPER CHASE WINNERS
The following are the top ten finishers in the 2023 edition of The Paper Chase legal writing competition, according to the TYLA judges:
1st Place • Nabutsingso Hoshut • UNT Dallas College of Law
2nd Place • Lauren Bush • University of Texas School of Law
3rd Place • Sarah Chavey • University of Texas School of Law
4. Wyatt Macfarlane • Texas Tech University School of Law
5. Berenis Ibarra Lopez • St. Mary’s University School of Law
6. Graysen Mechler • The University of Houston Law Center
7. Emily Garcia, St. Mary’s University School of Law
8. Shelby Lepley, SMU Dedman School of Law
9. Jonathan Voos, Texas A&M University School of Law
10. Zoe Azebe-Osime, Thurgood Marshall School of Law
The following attorneys assisted with judging:
- Tim Adams: The Law Office of Timothy Adams, PLLC
- Anietie Akpan: Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
- Garrett Brawley: Beck Redden, LLP
- Ashton Butcher: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP
- Jenna Castleman: Castleman & Associates, PC
- Kenneth Ferguson: Gordon, Rees, Scully & Mansukhani, LLP
- Dave Hagan: The Law Office of David R. Hagan
- Katya Nikitina: Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Harr, PC
- Sushant Mohan: Baker & Hostetler, LLP
- Lauren Sepulveda: Stahl, Sewell, Chavarria, Friend & Cohen, LLP
- Lance Vanzant: Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP
- Courtney White: Assistant City Attorney at the City of Amarillo
- Jackson Willingham: Lynch, Chappell & Alsup
Baylor Law’s heartfelt thanks go out to the competition’s co-sponsors, who significantly contributed to the success of The Paper Chase. Timothy Adams of the Law Office of Timothy Adams in Houston and Sushant Mohan of BakerHostetler in Houston worked tirelessly to recruit volunteer members of TYLA to judge the competition, while FVF Law generously underwrote the prize money, ensuring the competition’s continued growth and impact on the legal writing landscape at Texas law schools.
The Paper Chase is the unparalleled legal writing competition in Texas and one-third of Baylor Law’s “Triple Crown’ of intense intramural legal competitions, alongside The Closer, Baylor Law’s demanding, invitation-only transactional law competition, and Top Gun, the most challenging mock trial competition in the country. Baylor Law students are ineligible to participate in The Paper Chase and compete in a separate competition, The Ultimate Writer.