Recent graduate places second in national writing contest

Spenser Powell, a 2017 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, has earned second place in a national writing contest for a paper he wrote while studying at UT Law.

Powell began studying the Food and Drug Administration’s reclassification process during his semester in College of Law Professor Gary Pusinelli’s Law Science and Technology class. Powell’s research concluded that the FDA’s reclassification process should be modified to improve efficiency and increase safety thereby decreasing the cost of approval.

In addition to the $500 prize Powell received for placing second in the Austern Writing Competition, his paper is being considered for publication in the Food and Drug Law Journal.

“Professors stressed to me the importance of sharing and repurposing the work you complete for class and offering it up for publication,” Powell said. “The prize money is nice, but this is a way to begin establishing myself academically.”

The Food and Drug Law Journal is a peer-reviewed quarterly devoted to the scholarly analysis of legislation, regulations, court decisions, and public policies affecting the development, manufacture, marketing, and use of foods, drugs, biologics, cosmetics, medical devices, and tobacco. It is published in partnership with the Georgetown University Law Center and the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law.

Powell is serving as a clerk for Chief District Judge Thomas Varlan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. In early 2018, Powell plans to move to Houston, Texas to begin a second clerkship with Senior Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.