Ivet Bell ’16 Wins Top Prize in Bloomberg Writing Competition

The Second Annual "Write-On Competition" Gave Students the Opportunity to Work With the Editorial Staff of Several Legal Publications

New York, May 11, 2016—Columbia Law School’s graduation is still more than a week away, but Ivet A. Bell ’16 already has something to hang on the wall of her office once she starts work at Sidley Austin this fall: a framed certificate naming her one of the country’s best law student writers.

Earlier this year, Bell and hundreds of other U.S. law school students entered Bloomberg Law’s second annual Write-On Competition, submitting original analytical articles on current legal trends. Bell’s piece, “Delaware’s New Appraisal Valuation Approach and Its Effect on Appraisal Risk and Cost in Public M&A Deals,” was one of just 10 chosen by the company’s senior editorial executives for the top prize: $2,500 and publication in a Bloomberg BNA law report.

“I’m really happy to be representing Columbia in writing,” said Bell when she received her award during a small ceremony at the Law School’s Arthur W. Diamond Law Library on April 29. “It’s important for young lawyers to write and engage with the law on a policy level—not just applying the law, but being thoughtful about it.”


Ivet Bell '16 (center) poses with Arthur W. Diamond Law Library staff after winning Bloomberg Law's Write-On Competition.

After learning of her selection this past March, Bell worked with the editors of Bloomberg BNA’s Corporate Law & Accountability Report to ready her article for publication. She had also worked with the Law School’s reference library staff to develop her piece, which focuses on the impact of appraisal arbitrage on public company mergers and acquisitions law. She credits her mergers and acquisitions professor, Jeffrey N. Gordon, the Richard Paul Richman Professor of Law, for selecting her to be an M&A teaching assistant and sparking her interest in the topic.

“When you get out of law school, you don’t have a lot of time to devote to writing,” said Maxwell Sivin, the Law School’s Bloomberg relationship manager who presented Bell with her award. “Ivet had that opportunity here as a student. This award is a testament to her intelligence, her wherewithal, and the reference staff who helped prepare her.”

The Bloomberg competition is not the first time Bell’s writing talents have been showcased at the Law School: She also served as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. Her choice of topic for the Write-On Competition echoes her belief in the law’s responsibility to serve the public good.

“Appraisal valuation impacts not only corporate law, but ultimately involves a distributive decision that trickles down to society,” Bell explained. “It’s an interesting area of the law, where a statute designed many years ago has changed its effect beyond what was intended.”

Bell, who studied economics as an undergraduate at Harvard University, will join Sidley Austin’s Manhattan office as an associate in September. But first, she will receive her second office decoration—her law school diploma—at Columbia Law School’s May 19 graduation ceremony.