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The Steven M. Sweat Annual College Scholarship Essay Competition

Providing $1,000 each year to help students meet the increasing costs of obtaining a higher education

According to a 2014 report published by Bloomberg, college tuition continues to outpace the rate of inflation. Consequently, more and more students and families find it difficult to meet the costs associated with attending college. For this reason, the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat, APC is pleased to hold an annual college essay contest to help a current or prospective college student meet the costs associated with obtaining a degree. Details regarding the essay contest and submission guidelines are provided below.

The essay topic

In order to participate in the contest, applicants must be currently attending or planning on attending an accredited U.S. college or university in the near future. In addition, they must write and submit a 500-word essay responding to the following question:

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), coercion occurs when a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary threatens to withhold work from, take employment action against, or punish a driver for refusing to operate in violation of hours-of-service and other safety regulations including certain provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) and the Federal Motor Carrier Commercial Regulations (FMCCRs).  An example of coercion occurs when a motor carrier terminates a driver for refusing to accept a load that would require the driver to violate the hours of service (HOS) requirements.

To address the problem of coercion, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration adopted the Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers, known as the Coercion Rule which took effect on January 29, 2016.  The Rule allows drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA and authorizes the administration to issue penalties against motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries. 

Does economic pressure in the motor carrier industry affect commercial drivers in such a way that it creates a negative impact on safety?  Why or why not?  Will the Coercion Rule have a greater impact on the economic side of the commercial trucking industry or safety?  Describe your answer.

Congratulations to our 2015 winner, Ms. Brittany Jackson! Thank you to each and every one of you who entered!

Once the application period ends, the essays will be evaluated by Mr. Sweat based on the following criteria:

  • The quality of the writing
  • The thoughtfulness of the response
  • Originality
  • The applicant’s demonstrated potential for success in their chosen field of study

The winner of the contest will be notified by email on or around 12/15/16.

Submission guidelines

Applicants should submit their essay as an attachment to an email to by 12/01/16. In addition to their essay, applicants should include the following information in the body of their email:

  • Their legal name, address, and phone number
  • The college or university that they are attending or planning to attend
  • Their current or proposed course of study
  • For applicants who are under 18, contact information for a parent or legal guardian

Contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation

The attorneys of the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat, APC  are dedicated to helping individuals who have been injured in preventable accidents recover for their injuries. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, call our office today at 866-252-0735 or send us an email through our online contact form.

Our 2015 Winner

Brittany Jackson - 2015 Winner of the Steven M. Sweat Scholarship Essay Contest

Brittany Jackson
Read Brittany’s winning essay here!