2022 Scholarship Opportunity — Undergraduate Students
Schlanger Law Group is a consumer protection law firm with offices in New York and New Jersey. We are not general practitioners. Our team focuses on representing victims of identity theft and inaccurate credit reporting in individual matters and class actions.
We are passionate about protecting consumers whose rights have been ignored especially by companies that don’t follow the law. Our goal is to help people who are struggling to navigate the consumer rights system on their own. We also appreciate students who exemplify the dedication needed to attend college and pursue an education, not just for themselves, but to help improve society in general.
We are pleased to announce our 2022 Consumer Law Scholarship Opportunities, which will award $2,000 to the college student who submits the most persuasive essay regarding the following scenario:
“Terms and conditions” have become an unavoidable aspect of modern life. Consider the number of contracts you have encountered to simply use your smart phone and all the apps on it. Each of these contracts (whether labelled “terms and conditions,” “user agreements,” or “terms of service”) can be thousands or even tens of thousands of words long.
These contract terms are not negotiated by both parties. Instead, they are drafted by one party (the business) as a condition of the other party (you, the customer) using the product. If you don’t agree, you can’t use the product.
Almost no one reads the terms. Instead, consumers quickly scroll through the details and click, “Accept” at the bottom to complete the process.
As a consumer protection law firm, we routinely meet people who—upon having a dispute with a business—are surprised to learn about the terms contained in their agreements. For example, the consumer may have waived the right to have disputes heard in Court, waived the right to be part of a class action, agreed that all dispute correspondence must be sent to a specific address in order to preserve the consumer’s rights, or agreed to other one-sided provisions that protect the company, not the consumer.
And putting aside the substance of the terms and conditions, there are simply too many contracts spread across too many every-day products. It’s not feasible or practical to carefully review each agreement without interrupting your regular routine in a way that most people find burdensome.
And yet we know:
- Businesses have an understandable need to operate according to a contract that lays out the parties’ respective obligations in some detail.
- It is generally well-established that a party that chooses to sign a contract without reviewing it does so at their own risk, and
- Contracting is undoubtedly a critical way of establishing relationships in a free society.
Considering the current status of every-day product contracts, please address the following issues:
- Can or should the problems created by what might be called, “Terms and Conditions Overload” be addressed by statute?
- Should there be statutorily mandated terms of service for different industries or different classes of products?
- Would limits on the length, complexity, format, etc. of terms and conditions for consumer products help protect consumers?
- Would the downsides of any regulation designed to address these problems outweigh any benefits?
Before you begin your essay submission, please be sure that you meet the requirements explained below.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria:
Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited college or university in the United States.
High school seniors who will be graduating before the scholarship opportunities deadline and are able to provide proof of enrollment in a U.S. accredited college or university are eligible to apply.
To apply for this scholarship opportunity, interested candidates should provide the following:
1. A current resume with contact and education information such as a transcript.
2. High school seniors must also submit proof of acceptance or enrollment in a U.S. accredited college or university.
3. An essay of 750-1,000 words addressing the Essay Question.
– To be considered for this year’s scholarship opportunity, please send all required documentation (essay, transcripts, and resume) via email to [email protected]
– The deadline to apply is July 30, 2022
– Scholarship application emails must include the subject line: “[Applicant’s Name] – Consumer Protection Scholarship for Undergraduate Students.”
We look forward to receiving your original submissions.
Schlanger Law Group LLP serves clients in New Jersey, New York, and throughout the United States with consumer protection, class action, credit reporting, and identity theft issues.