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Legal Essay Contest Catalog

The T.C. Williams Legal Essay Contest Catalog is the Web's largest collection of writing competitions for law students. Essay contents provide students with opportunities to display the exceptional legal research, analysis, and composition skills honed here at the University of Richmond School of Law.

*Only currently active competitions are displayed*

Recently Added

Companion Animal Law Writing Contest

Competition Website: https://cqrcengage.com/akc/file/ckIxevW6lPd/Combo website pages FINAL 9-19-17.pdf

Sponsor: The American Kennel Club

Deadline: March 30, 2018

Essay Topic: • The subject of the paper submitted must be one of the following topics: 1. Companion animals have long been recognized by the law as personal property. When an owner brings suit for loss of a pet or injury to a pet, the damages are calculated under property principles ,which may cap recovery at fair market value. The courts and/or legislatures of several states have beenwilling to accept claims requesting damages beyonda pet’s market value, including for reasonable and necessary veterinary costs that are above market value and for a pet’s “actual value” which can include economic factors besides market value. A few states have allowed emotion-based claims when a pet is maliciously injured or killed, but nearly all states have rejected claims for emotional distress, pain and suffering, sentimental value, loss of companionship and other non-economic damages in negligence claims involving harm to pets. Discuss the causes of action and types of damages above with relation to companion animals. What types of situations would give rise to lawsuits over animal injuries? What are the benefits and disadvantages of allowing expanded liability in these situations? What would be the net impact on pet welfare? All points of view are welcome. OR 2. Pet custody has become a highly dynamic area of the law. Under the traditional view, which is reflected in most state laws, companion animals are considered personal property. In recent years, some courts have started changing how they handle pet custody in family law cases, such as divorce. When a couple separates, the pet is traditionally allocated to one of its owners. It may be determinative if the pet was a gift from one of the owners to the other. In recent years, courts have been experimenting with different types of solutions, including split custody and assessing the best interests of the pet. Custody issues also arise with law enforcement, when the police or animal control take custody of a pet that has been severely neglected and is in need of immediate medical attention. Comparable issues arise when a local shelter takes custody of a pet found in the street. Discuss the relevant law surrounding pet custody, the potential limits on ownership interests in pets, the pros and cons and any potential future impacts of changing the law. All points of view are welcome.

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $2,500

2nd Prize: $500

Notes: View complete contest flyer and submission information HERE.

2017 College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers Law Student Writing Compensation

Competition Website: http://www.cwclawyers.org/html/writing_contest.html

Sponsor: The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Deadline: January 15, 2018

Essay Topic: TOPIC: The scope of permissible topics is broad, i.e., any aspect of workers' compensation law. Students are encouraged to present: a public policy issue; a critique of a leading case or doctrine; or a comment on a statute or the need for a statutory modification.

Prize Information:

PRIZES:

First prize - $2,000, plus $1000 to winner's law school scholarship fund

Second price - $1,500.00

Third prize - $1000.00

The winner's article will also be considered for publication in the Workers' First Watch. The Workers' Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) magazine, and the ABA tort and Insurance Practice Section Law Journal. The winner will also be invited (expenses paid) to the Annual College Induction Dinner to be honored during the program.

Notes:

For the full contest announcement flyer click HERE.

1. Articles must be original from the applicant and limited to one entry. Articles must not presently be under sondiferationfor any other publication or written as part of paid employment.

2. All articles are to be submitted in the following format:

  • Submitted by email (no author name in body of article, only in cover letter) to susan.wan@cwclawyers.org (Please reference "Writing Competition" in the subject line.);
  • All articles are to be submitted by Jan. 15, 2018;
  • Double-spaced, on 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch paper, 1 inch margins;
  • Entries should be between 10 and 20 pages in length (including bottom of page footnotes);
  • Citations are to conform to "A Uniform System of Citation" (The Bluebook".

3. If published by the College, the articles become the property of the College. No submitted article may be published elsewhere until after announcement of the winners of the competition. Announcement of the winners will be made at least 30 days in advance of the Annual College Induction Dinner, Spring 2018.

4. Include a cover letter with your entry stating your name, mailing address and phone number (both school and permanent), name of school and year of graduation.

5. Applicant must be currently enrolled in an accredited law school or submit entry within a year of graduation.

The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law

Competition Website: https://www.acslaw.org/special-projects/richard-d-cudahy-writing-competition

Sponsor: American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Deadline: February 4, 2018

Essay Topic: Submissions should be related to American regulatory or administrative law, broadly construed. Appropriate subjects include empirical or comparative analyses of the effectiveness of specific regulatory regimes or of deregulation; doctrinal investigations of the development of administrative law rules or principles by courts and administrative agencies and the effects of that development; and normative analyses of how particular regulatory or administrative regimes or deregulation advance or fail to advance values of fairness, participation, and transparency.

Prize Information:

Prize: $1,500

The winning papers will receive special recognition at the ACS National Convention, on the ACS website, and potentially through other means agreed upon by the authors and ACS.

Notes:

For compete contest guidelines and submission guidelines go HERE.

Papers must be emailed to cudahy@acslaw.org in Word format.

2018 Human Rights Essay Award Competition

Competition Website: https://www.wcl.american.edu/hracademy/hraward.cfm

Sponsor: Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Deadline: February 1, 2018

Essay Topic: The Human Rights Essay Award is an annual competition sponsored by the Academy and seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The essay has to be a legal article.

Prize Information:

The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of:

  • A full scholarship* to the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance options
  • Travel expenses to and from Washington D.C.
  • Housing at the university dorms
  • Per diem for living expenses

The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review.

*Scholarship is not applicable to enroll for ABA Credit. All expenses are subject to limitations.

Notes: For full submission guidelines and instructions go HERE

Browse All Contests

September 2017

National Law Review Law Student Writing Contest
Law & Society$0 to $299September 2017

Competition Website: http://www.natlawreview.com/NLR-law-student-writing-competition

Sponsor: The National Law Review

Deadline: September 30, 2017

Essay Topic: Suggested Topics:  ​Cybersecurity Issues - Major data breaches, EU Privacy Shield, Wearable Devices, Medical Devices Election 2016 Coverage Tax Issues Constitutional Issues - First Amendment, Gun Control Employment Issues - Ban the Box Laws, Minimum Wage, Transgender Accomodations, Age/Sex Discrimination

Prize Information:

The NLR Law Student Writing Competition offers law students the opportunity to submit articles for publication consideration on the NLR Web site.  No entry fee is required. Applicants can submit an unlimited number of entries each month.

  • Winning submissions will be published according to specified dates.

  • Entries will be judged and the top two to four articles chosen will be published on the NLR website.

  • Each winning article will be displayed accompanied by the student’s photo, biography, contact information, law school logo, and any copyright disclosure.

  • All winning articles will remain in the NLR database for two years (subject to earlier removal upon request of the law school).

Articles will be judged by NLR staff members on the basis of readability, clarity, organization, and timeliness. Tone should be authoritative, but not overly formal. Ideally, articles should be straightforward and practical, containing useful information of interest to legal and business professionals.

Notes: For full submission guidelines and requirements go HERE.

Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition
Legal Ethics$3000 to $3999September 2017

Competition Website: http://www.delawarebarfoundation.org/stargatt-writing-competition/

Sponsor: Delaware Bar Foundation

Deadline: September 15, 2017

Essay Topic: In keeping with Bruce Stargatt’s keen interest in legal writing and the ethical practice of law, we invite papers concerning ethical issues in the practice of law. Beyond this general description,the precise issue to be dealt with is in the author’s discretion.

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $3000

2nd Prize: $1000

3rd Prize: $500

The first place paper will be published in “Delaware Lawyer” magazine (a publication of the Delaware Bar Foundation, distributed quarterly without charge to all members of the Delaware Bar). The author of the first place paper will be invited to receive his or her prize at the Delaware State Bar Association/Delaware Bar Foundation seminar in Wilmington in Fall 2017. Prizes will not be awarded if the judges determine that no entry meets the appropriate standards.

Notes:

Eligibility: The competition is open to (i) law students (undergraduate or graduate) at, and 2017 graduates of, Delaware Law School, (ii) law students or 2017 law school graduates who graduated from a high school or college in Delaware, and
(iii) law school graduates who have registered for or have taken the 2017 Delaware Bar Examination.
For full rules and submission guidelines see the contest announcement flyer HERE.

James E. Beckley Writing Competition
Securities Arbitration$1000 to $1499September 2017

Competition Website: http://piabafoundation.org/piabe-bar-journal/beckley-competition

Sponsor: Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)

Deadline: September 8, 2017

Essay Topic: The submission may address any aspect of Securities Law; Securities Arbitration; The Federal Arbitration Act, Title 9, US Code, Section 1-14; or FINRA Code of Arbitration, effective April 16, 2007 and any changes or proposed changes to that Code. The writing can be based in theory or practice, but should ultimately advocate a position on the topic area chosen.

Prize Information:

Prize awards:

1st place: $1,000.00

2nd place: $750.00

3rd place: $500.00

Notes:

Eligibility: The competition is open to all students who attend a law school in the United States. Full-time students who are not law students but who write law-related papers as part of a course at an American law school are also eligible. Employees of The PIABA Foundation and PIABA (except for students working less than 20 hours per week) are not eligible to enter the competition.

For full contest information and submission guidelines go HERE.

October 2017

Alcohol Addiction Awareness Essay Contest
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Law$3000 to $3999October 2017

Competition Website: https://alcorehab.org/scholarship/

Sponsor: AlcoRehab.org

Deadline: October 1, 2017

Essay Topic: The submitted essays must not exceed 1,200 words and should answer the following questions: • How alcohol abuse and addiction affects the modern society? • What steps can be taken to decrease the impact of alcohol abuse and addictions on people and society?

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $3,000

2nd Prize: $2,000

3rd Prize: $1,000

The scholarship awards may only be used to pay for college tuition and/or education-related expenses.

Notes: For additional rules and submission guidelines please go HERE.

November 2017

Virginia State Bar Family Law Section Law Student Writing Competition
Family Law$0 to $299November 2017

Competition Website: students/essay-catalog-resources/file-resources/VSB Family Law Writing Competition Announcement.pdf

Sponsor: Virginia State Bar Family Law SectionCompetition Sponsor

Deadline: November 1, 2017

Essay Topic: Entries can be on any aspect of Virginia family law, and must be no longer than 2,500 words.

Prize Information:

The author of the winning article will also receive a plaque from the Section commemorating the achievement, which will be presented at the Virginia State Bar Annual Advanced Family Law Seminar in Richmond.

Notes: For more information see the official contest flyer HERE.

December 2017

American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers Writing Competition
Consumer Financial Services Law$1000 to $1499December 2017

Competition Website: http://www.accfsl.org/writing-competition/

Sponsor: American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers

Deadline: December 1, 2017

Essay Topic: Eligible entries must discuss some aspect of consumer financial services law. Topics that relate principally to securities regulation, insurance, or the safety and soundness aspects of banking regulation are not eligible, but works on subjects within these (or other) areas will be considered if they bear directly on consumer financial services.

Prize Information:

Prize depends on particular work submitted.

Each year The American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers seeks to recognize written contributions to the field of consumer financial services law. Eligible papers include publishable articles, substantial book reviews, or book chapters; books; and student case note or comment. In any year, depending on the quality of the submissions, awards may be made in all or some of these three categories.

Books - $2,500

Articles, Review, Book Chapters - $2,000

Student Papers - $1,000

Plus travel expenses to attend the College's annual dinner held in conjunction with the Spring Meeting of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Notes:

The deadline for entry is December 1, 2016, and entries are eligible if they have been written or published within the twelve months preceding that date. Unpublished manuscripts should be double-spaced and conform to law review standards. All entries should be submitted in electronic format.

For more information go HERE.

Center for Alcohol Policy Annual Essay Contest
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Law$5000 or moreDecember 2017

Competition Website: http://www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org/essay-contest/

Sponsor: Center for Alcohol Policy

Deadline: December 1, 2017

Essay Topic: The Supreme Court has recognized “temperance” as a permissible goal of state alcohol regulation. Define temperance as it would apply in today’s alcohol marketplace. Is it still relevant today? Should temperance still be recognized as a permissible goal of alcohol regulation?

Prize Information:

First prize: $5000

Second prize: $2500

Third prize: $1000

Notes: For full contest information, rules, and submission guidelines go HERE.

Legal Blog Post Writing Contest
Legislation$1500 to $1999December 2017

Competition Website: https://www.theexpertinstitute.com/writing-contest/

Sponsor: The Expert Institute

Deadline: December 31, 2017

Essay Topic: To win, your article not only has to be logically rigorous and substantive, it also needs to be engaging, entertaining, and eye-catching. Ideally, lay people should be able to understand and enjoy the article, while lawyers should find it useful and insightful. Eligibility and Topic: J.D. Students - Any topic in litigation involving expert witnesses.

Prize Information:

1st Place: Cash prize $2000; Blog publication; Newsletter circulation; Email announcement.

2nd Place: Blog publication.

3rd Place: Blog publication.

Notes:

Parameters: Specific case references are required, and the article must contain specific examples; Must be an unpublished, original submission. The Expert Institute reserves the right to publish in print and digital all or part of the essay or abstract at its discretion; Citations should be inline - no footnotes or endnotes. Links to electronic sources are encouraged; 1,500 - 2,500 words, written in a blog post format.

For full submission guidelines and instructions go HERE.

January 2018

2017 College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers Law Student Writing Compensation
Workers Compensation$1500 to $1999January 2018

Competition Website: http://www.cwclawyers.org/html/writing_contest.html

Sponsor: The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Deadline: January 15, 2018

Essay Topic: TOPIC: The scope of permissible topics is broad, i.e., any aspect of workers' compensation law. Students are encouraged to present: a public policy issue; a critique of a leading case or doctrine; or a comment on a statute or the need for a statutory modification.

Prize Information:

PRIZES:

First prize - $2,000, plus $1000 to winner's law school scholarship fund

Second price - $1,500.00

Third prize - $1000.00

The winner's article will also be considered for publication in the Workers' First Watch. The Workers' Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) magazine, and the ABA tort and Insurance Practice Section Law Journal. The winner will also be invited (expenses paid) to the Annual College Induction Dinner to be honored during the program.

Notes:

For the full contest announcement flyer click HERE.

1. Articles must be original from the applicant and limited to one entry. Articles must not presently be under sondiferationfor any other publication or written as part of paid employment.

2. All articles are to be submitted in the following format:

  • Submitted by email (no author name in body of article, only in cover letter) to susan.wan@cwclawyers.org (Please reference "Writing Competition" in the subject line.);
  • All articles are to be submitted by Jan. 15, 2018;
  • Double-spaced, on 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch paper, 1 inch margins;
  • Entries should be between 10 and 20 pages in length (including bottom of page footnotes);
  • Citations are to conform to "A Uniform System of Citation" (The Bluebook".

3. If published by the College, the articles become the property of the College. No submitted article may be published elsewhere until after announcement of the winners of the competition. Announcement of the winners will be made at least 30 days in advance of the Annual College Induction Dinner, Spring 2018.

4. Include a cover letter with your entry stating your name, mailing address and phone number (both school and permanent), name of school and year of graduation.

5. Applicant must be currently enrolled in an accredited law school or submit entry within a year of graduation.

February 2018

The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law
Administrative Law$1500 to $1999February 2018

Competition Website: https://www.acslaw.org/special-projects/richard-d-cudahy-writing-competition

Sponsor: American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Deadline: February 4, 2018

Essay Topic: Submissions should be related to American regulatory or administrative law, broadly construed. Appropriate subjects include empirical or comparative analyses of the effectiveness of specific regulatory regimes or of deregulation; doctrinal investigations of the development of administrative law rules or principles by courts and administrative agencies and the effects of that development; and normative analyses of how particular regulatory or administrative regimes or deregulation advance or fail to advance values of fairness, participation, and transparency.

Prize Information:

Prize: $1,500

The winning papers will receive special recognition at the ACS National Convention, on the ACS website, and potentially through other means agreed upon by the authors and ACS.

Notes:

For compete contest guidelines and submission guidelines go HERE.

Papers must be emailed to cudahy@acslaw.org in Word format.

2018 Human Rights Essay Award Competition
Human Rights Law$0 to $299February 2018

Competition Website: https://www.wcl.american.edu/hracademy/hraward.cfm

Sponsor: Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Deadline: February 1, 2018

Essay Topic: The Human Rights Essay Award is an annual competition sponsored by the Academy and seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The essay has to be a legal article.

Prize Information:

The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of:

  • A full scholarship* to the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance options
  • Travel expenses to and from Washington D.C.
  • Housing at the university dorms
  • Per diem for living expenses

The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review.

*Scholarship is not applicable to enroll for ABA Credit. All expenses are subject to limitations.

Notes: For full submission guidelines and instructions go HERE

March 2018

Companion Animal Law Writing Contest
Animal Law$0 to $299March 2018

Competition Website: https://cqrcengage.com/akc/file/ckIxevW6lPd/Combo website pages FINAL 9-19-17.pdf

Sponsor: The American Kennel Club

Deadline: March 30, 2018

Essay Topic: • The subject of the paper submitted must be one of the following topics: 1. Companion animals have long been recognized by the law as personal property. When an owner brings suit for loss of a pet or injury to a pet, the damages are calculated under property principles ,which may cap recovery at fair market value. The courts and/or legislatures of several states have beenwilling to accept claims requesting damages beyonda pet’s market value, including for reasonable and necessary veterinary costs that are above market value and for a pet’s “actual value” which can include economic factors besides market value. A few states have allowed emotion-based claims when a pet is maliciously injured or killed, but nearly all states have rejected claims for emotional distress, pain and suffering, sentimental value, loss of companionship and other non-economic damages in negligence claims involving harm to pets. Discuss the causes of action and types of damages above with relation to companion animals. What types of situations would give rise to lawsuits over animal injuries? What are the benefits and disadvantages of allowing expanded liability in these situations? What would be the net impact on pet welfare? All points of view are welcome. OR 2. Pet custody has become a highly dynamic area of the law. Under the traditional view, which is reflected in most state laws, companion animals are considered personal property. In recent years, some courts have started changing how they handle pet custody in family law cases, such as divorce. When a couple separates, the pet is traditionally allocated to one of its owners. It may be determinative if the pet was a gift from one of the owners to the other. In recent years, courts have been experimenting with different types of solutions, including split custody and assessing the best interests of the pet. Custody issues also arise with law enforcement, when the police or animal control take custody of a pet that has been severely neglected and is in need of immediate medical attention. Comparable issues arise when a local shelter takes custody of a pet found in the street. Discuss the relevant law surrounding pet custody, the potential limits on ownership interests in pets, the pros and cons and any potential future impacts of changing the law. All points of view are welcome.

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $2,500

2nd Prize: $500

Notes: View complete contest flyer and submission information HERE.


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The University of Richmond School of Law Legal Essay Contest Catalog is offered as a public service, without charge, by individuals, members of the University of Richmond School of Law community.

We are committed to excellence in maintaining the catalog, but do so on a purely voluntary basis. Given the constant flux of both essay contest life and locations on the Web, we cannot guarantee that our catalog at all times comprehensively represents either the latest information on each contest or its present location on the Web, but we list for every contest in our catalog persons to contact for confirmation of our information.

Those publishing our catalog have no control over those managing the sites to which the catalog supplies links. Consequently, those publishing the catalog assume no responsibility for the content at the other end of any of its links. From time to time, links are checked or monitored, but those publishing the catalog must depend on its users for notice of inoperative or improper links.