SWLAW Blog | Awards & Honors

April Rivera headshot

May 23, 2024

April Rivera '23 Wins Grand Prize at Beverly Hills Bar Foundation Competition

Los Angeles, CA – April Rivera '23, an Annual Attorney at the Supreme Court of California, was awarded the grand prize in the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation’s Rule of Law Competition. Rivera’s entry, Supreme Court Ethics Regulation: Amending the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to Address Justices’ Unethical Behavior, not only secured a $2,500 prize but will also be featured in the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Modern Lawyer magazine.  

“I am deeply honored to have won such a prestigious competition and to have been able to contribute to the important discourse on improving judicial integrity,” said Rivera. I am truly grateful for all the support I received from Southwestern Law School.”  

Rivera’s paper critiques the ethical standards governing U.S. Supreme Court justices, arguing that the current measures fall short of maintaining the impartiality and integrity required to sustain public trust. She proposes robust amendments to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to strengthen ethical obligations and transparency among the justices.  

The competition rewards submissions that thoroughly analyze and articulate the rule of law, focusing on its application, interpretation, and impact on civil and human rights. Submissions are evaluated based on their ability to define, critique, or demonstrate the rule of law’s effects on society, with winners receiving scholarships to support their legal education.  

Rivera’s achievement is the latest in a series of successes by Southwestern Law School students in the BHBF competition. In 2021, Andy Hyman '21 won with The Problem with Johnson and Lemond: Irreconcilable Science and the Brady-Napue No-Man’s Land. In 2022, Christina Lee '22 earned an honorable mention for Transgender Women in Men’s Corrections Facilities: A Call for an Objective Deliberate Indifference Test to Better Protect Inmates from Sexual Abuse Behind Bars.