2L Chelsea Morgan Named Winner of Legal Student Workshop

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College of Law

2L Chelsea Morgan Named Winner of Legal Student Workshop

May 23, 2024 | by Jasmine Simmons

A day-in-the-life story of restored hope amid professional burnout 

Chelsea MorganSecond-year law student Chelsea Morgan’s entry entitled “My Son Spots” won the Belmont College of Law fifth annual Legal Fiction Workshop.  

“My Son Spots” is the atmospheric story of an attorney who finds her footing after encountering a client who has lost everything.    

Morgan’s story was chosen through an anonymized review process by author Suzanne Craig Robertson, former editor of the Tennessee Bar Journal who served as an outside community reader.  

Robertson released a statement that commended Morgan’s entry for having “excellent” writing. “With a conversational tone, Morgan gives attention to everyday details using realistic dialogue. The imagery of fire is well done throughout, equating a burning helplessness with how the lawyer’s life had become too rushed, miserable and unmanageable,” Robertson said.  

“Beautiful descriptions are woven into the bleak prospects of the lawyer’s life, showing that there is hope to come,” she continued. “Using the universal themes of burnout, work-life balance and compassion fatigue, the author weaves a relatable story as we experience the protagonist’s realizations and her eventual move toward positive change.” 

Morgan’s entry crafted a message that busy lawyers can heed and take with them into their individual practices.  

“In this day-in-the-life story, we get a glimpse of a legal aid attorney’s frustrations with work and family, and how she evolves into setting her life back on path,” Robertson said. “The use of first-person, present tense is effective at putting the reader right in the middle of the protagonist’s life, as the plot progresses from disconcerting to hopeful.” 

A Creative Outlet Amidst Academic Rigor 

Led by Assistant Professor Krisit Arth, Belmont’s Legal Fiction Workshop is conducted in the spring semester as an extracurricular activity for a limited number of 2Ls and 3Ls. Eleven students participated in the workshop this year. 

The workshop is primarily designed to help students prepare a short story for submission to the American Bar Association Journal’s Ross Essay Contest for Legal Short Fiction. Two Belmont Law students have won the Ross Essay Contest in previous years and other students have submitted their work to similar publications, such as the Tennessee Bar Journal. 

“I’m really proud of all they have accomplished,” Arth said. “The students tackle whatever legal issues they want — addiction issues for lawyers, issues with the criminal bail system, art fraud issues, issues related to diminished capacity, etc. We’ve had frame stories, ghost stories, stories structured as screenplays, you name it.” 

With no required topic or theme other than “illuminating the role of law and/or lawyers in modern society,” the workshop provides students a creative outlet within Belmont Law’s academically rigorous environment to produce work capable of publication.  

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