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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.

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Mollie and Paul Hill Student Writing Competition in Medical-Legal Interprofessional Collaboration

Competition Website: http://med.fsu.edu/?page=innovativeCollaboration.home

Sponsor: Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law

Deadline: January 2, 2017

Essay Topic: In 2017, the Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, based in both the FSU College of Medicine and the FSU College of Law, will present awards for the outstanding original papers submitted by a law student and a medical student or medical resident in response to a question pertaining to collaboration between the medical and legal professions. This writing competition is made possible by a generous gift from Mollie and Paul Hill. 2017 Contest Question: There is a consensus that the U.S. health care system is frequently characterized by the excessive and unnecessary provision of medical services. One of the impediments to rationalizing medical practice to reduce tests, procedures, and treatments that are not clinically indicated and appropriate for particular patients is the perception by practicing health care professionals that the prevalent and often overused tests, procedures, and treatments are compelled by the current American legal systems, and that health care professionals' efforts to reduce the current waste and inefficiency will result in their expanded exposure to malpractice litigation and liability. Discuss the ways in which the medical and legal professions may work together collaboratively to address the problem of excessive, unnecessary, wasteful, and inefficient provision of medical services in the U.S.

Prize Information:

Outstanding Paper by a Law Student -- $250

Outstanding Paper by a Medical Student or Medical Resident -- $250

Notes:

Applicant and Paper Criteria

  1. All authors must be enrolled, at the time of paper submission, in an accredited law school or medical school (M.D. or D.O.) or participating in an accredited medical residency program in the United States.
  2. No paper that has been previously published in any form will be considered; however, papers written for course credit are allowed as long as they have not been published. An applicant may submit a paper for publication consideration after the winner of this writing competition has been announced.
  3. The submitted paper must be responsive to the 2017 Contest Question.
  4. Each submitted paper must be the original work of a single author.

Format:

  1. The length of the paper must be between 1,200 and 5,000 words. The word count applies to the total paper, including title page, body, footnotes, figures, and tables (if any).
  2. No abstract is required.
  3. All references should be in the form of footnotes, using either Blue Book or APA style.
  4. All paper are to be submitted in Word document format, using 12 point Times New Roman font for all text, including footnotes. The body of papers must be doubl-spaced and footnotes should be single-spaced. All text must have one inch margins. All pages must be numbered.
  5. The first page must be the cover page, which must include: the author's name, full contact information, and school or residency program, as well as the final word count obtained from Word and a disclosure of any conflict of interest affecting the author concerning the subject matter of the paper.
  6. At the top of the first page of text, only the title of the paper should appear.
  7. If the author wishes to acknowledge an individual or institution, this may be done only on the cover page.

Judging:

  1. All papers will be judged by a committee of national experts on medical-legal collaboration, appointed by the Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, in a blinded review process. The decision of the judges is final.
  2. Prizes will not be awarded if the competition judges determine that no entry in a particular year meets the appropriate standards.
  3. Papers will be judged according to the following criteria: responsiveness to the competition question, originality and thoughtfulness, quality of analysis, quality of writing, citation of authority supporting arguments.

Deadline and Submission:

  1. All papers must be submitted in the proper format by midnight (EST) on January 2, 2017.
  2. Papers must be submitted electronically to marshall.kapp@med.fsu.edu
  3. Direct questions to: Mollie and Paul Hill Writing Competition, Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, 115 W. Call Street, Tallahassee, FL 323206-4300; Phone: 850-645-9373; Web: http://med.fus.edu/?page=InnovativeCollaboration.html; Email: marshall.kapp@med.fsu.edu
  4. Winners will be announced on or before April 1, 2017.

Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition

Competition Website: http://www.fedbar.org/Sections/Section-on-Taxation/Writing-Competition.aspx

Sponsor: The Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation

Deadline: January 6, 2017

Essay Topic: Students may submit any original paper concerning federal taxation.

Prize Information:

First Place: $2000

Second Place: $1000

Both will receive a trip to the FBA’s Annual Tax Law Conference in Washington, D.C. The winning entries may be published in the Tax Section newsletter the Report or in The Federal Lawyer.

Notes:

For full contest guidelines and submission instructions go the contest website HERE.

Papers written in connection with a law school course, seminar, or paid employment are eligible provided that they are written in the form of a scholarly article and do not contain any client-specific work product. Student papers submitted for publication in law reviews or other legal journals are eligible for the competition.

However, student papers that have already been published in a law review or other legal journal, or that have been selected for publication, are not eligible for the competition. Students must sign the attached Warranty and Authorization to Publish guaranteeing that the paper has not been published or selected for publication as of the date the paper is submitted to this competition and agreeing to permit the Section on Taxation to publish the paper. Student papers submitted to other competitions are eligible for the Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition.

American Indian Law Review Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://www.law.ou.edu/content/writing-competition

Sponsor: American Indian Law Review

Deadline: January 31, 2017

Essay Topic: Papers will be accepted on any issue concerning American Indian law or indigenous peoples. However, topics recently published in the American Indian Law Review will not be favored.

Prize Information:

The first place winner receivs $1,000 and publication in the American Indian Law Review, an official periodical of the University of Oklahoma College of Law with international distribution.

2nd Place: $500

3rd Place: $250

Each of the three winning authors will also be awarded an eBook version of Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, provided by LexisNexis, and will be recognized on the masthead of the American Indian Law Review.

For full contest information and submission rules see the website HERE.

Notes:

Eligibility: The competition is open to students enrolled in J.D. or graduate law programs at accredited law schools in the United States and Canada as of the competition deadline of Jan. 29, 2016. Editors of the American Indian Law Review are not eligible to compete.

Judges: Papers will be judged by members of the legal profession with an interest in American Indian Law and by the edicors of the American Indian Law Review.

Standards: Papers will be judged on the babsis of originality and timeliness of topic, knowledge and use of applicable legal principles, proper and articulate analysis of the issues, use of authorities and extent of research, logic and reasoning in analysis, ingenuity and ability to argue by analogy, clarity and organization, correctness of format and citations, grammar and writing style, and strength and logic of conclusions.

Form: Entries must be a minimum of 20 double-spaced pages in length and a maximum of 50 double-spaced pages in length excluding footnotes or endnotes. All citations should conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed.). The body of the email must contain the author's name, social security number, school, expected year of graduation, current address, permanent address, and email address. Inquiries may be replied to by email. No identifying marks (name, school, etc.) should appear on the paper itself. All entries must have only one author. Entries must be unpublished, not currently submitted for publication elsewhere, and not currently entered in other writing competitions. Papers entered in the American Indian Law Review writing competition may not be submitted for consideration to any other publication until such time as winning entrants are announced. Any entries not fully in accord with required form will be ineligible for consideration.

Submission: Submissions may be emailed to the American Indian Law Review at mwaters@ou.edu by the competition deadline. Entries may be sent as Microsoft Work, WordPerfect, or PDF documents. Although email submissions are preferred, hardcopies are acceptable. If submitting hardcopies, mail them to AILR Writing Competition, American Indian Law Review, 300 Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73019. Please send an email to mwaters@ou.edu on or before the deadline to notify the AILR that you are sending a hardcopy submission.

Contact: Telephone Numbers - (405) 325-2840 and (405) 325-5191; Fax: (405) 325-6282; E-mail: marcelo.pendleton@gmail.com;

American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize

Competition Website: www.innsofcourt.org

Sponsor: American Inns of Court

Deadline: July 1, 2017

Essay Topic: Authors should address one or more aspects of excellence in legal skills, civility, ethics or professionalism within the legal profession. The selected issue(s) should be of contemporary significance with clear relevance to the legal community at large.

Prize Information:

Winning Prize: $5,000

The winning essay will be published in the South Carolina Law Review and will be presented to the recipient at the American Inns of Court annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States

Notes:

For full contest guidelines and submission information see the official contest announcement HERE.

The winning essay will be announced on or before August 31.

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September 2016

Baxter Family Competition on Federalism
Constitutional Law$0 to $299September 2016

Competition Website: https://www.mcgill.ca/law/channels/news/baxter-competition-federalism-2016

Sponsor: McGill University┬┐s Faculty of Law and the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism

Deadline: September 30, 2016

Essay Topic: Participants are invited to submit an original essay related to an aspect of federal theory or practice by September 30, 2016. Given that the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism is being launched to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation of 1867, submissions that examine the past, present and future of Canadian federalism from comparative angles are particularly encouraged. While essays can discuss any one of a wide range of topics related to federalism, the organizers of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism are particularly interested in submissions centered on two particular aspects of the “federal phenomenon”: Participants are invited to submit an original essay related to an aspect of federal theory or practice by September 30, 2016. Given that the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism is being launched to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation of 1867, submissions that examine the past, present and future of Canadian federalism from comparative angles are particularly encouraged. While essays can discuss any one of a wide range of topics related to federalism, the organizers of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism are particularly interested in submissions centered on two particular aspects of the “federal phenomenon”: 1. The potential and challenges of federal constitutional design for complex multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multinational societies, including those with mixed legal systems and/or those seeking post-conflict reconciliation. In this context, essays may address questions such as: Does federalism meet its promise of promoting tolerance and mutual respect between diverse groups: If so, why and how? If not, why not? Are certain types of federal arrangements more conducive to promote peaceful co-existence of diverse groups? By contrast, are some federal systems more prone to consolidate and entrench conflict? Why? What federal principles and institutions are most likely to enable constructive dialogue between distinct legal cultures and nations? How should minority rights be guaranteed in a federation? Is federalism a viable model of governance for aboriginal peoples? What is the role of law, both in the sense of institutional architecture and judicial interpretation, in fostering – or eroding – effective and inclusive federal systems 2. The institutions, mechanisms and constitutional principles that may enhance – or undermine – “good government” in federal systems. Here, authors should consider the impact of “cooperative federalism” (or lack thereof) on policy development and implementation, as well as on democratic accountability. Essays could investigate: The role of courts in promoting – or undermining – “cooperative federalism” or the “federal spirit”. The adequacy of parliamentary control of decisions and acts taken in collaboration by the executive branches of several orders of government, or by agencies created on a collaborative basis. The role of intergovernmental agreements in federal practice. The impact of federalism on specific policy domains (e.g.: health care, violence against women, environmental protection, etc.). The design, interpretation and revision of the distribution of legislative and administrative powers in federations.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $5,000

2nd Place: $3,000

3rd Place: $1,000

Notes: For full submission guidelines and contest rules see the website HERE.

Public Contract Law Writing Contest
Contract Law$5000 or moreSeptember 2016

Competition Website: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_contract_law/awards_and_scholarships.html

Sponsor: American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law

Deadline: September 30, 2016

Essay Topic: Papers should address a topical issue of interest to the public contract and grant law community.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $5,000
2nd Place: $2,500
3rd Place: $1,000

Winning entries will be considered for publication in the Public Contract Law Journal, and selected competitors may be invited to present their papers during the ABA Section of Public Contract Law’s annual Federal Procurement Institute; however, publication and presentation decisions are made independent of the writing competition and there is no guarantee that a winning entry will be published or selected for presentation.

Notes:

The competition will be conducted in two divisions.
Each division will be judged separately, and separate prizes will be awarded to the winners of each division.
(a) Division I is open to (i) candidates for a J.D. degree attending law schools within the United States and its possessions as of September 30, 2016, and (ii) recipients of a J.D. degree in 2016 from a law school within the United States and its possessions.
(b) Division II is open to (i) lawyers under the age of 36 years or admitted to practice less than five years as of September 30, 2016, (ii) LL.M candidates attending law schools within the United States and its possessions as of September 30, 2016, and (iii) LL.M graduates who attended law schools within the United States and its possessions and received their LL.M degree after September 30, 2015.
For full contect details and submission guidelines go HERE.

National Law Review Law Student Writing Contest
Law & Society$0 to $299September 2016

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

Sponsor: The National Law Review

Deadline: September 30, 2016

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.

James E. Beckley Writing Competition
Securities Arbitration$1000 to $1499September 2016

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

Sponsor: Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)

Deadline: September 16, 2016

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 2016

International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition
Human Rights Law$0 to $299October 2016

Competition Website: https://www.wcl.american.edu/humright/center/2016InternationalHumanitarianLawStudentWritingCompetition.cfm

Sponsor: The Center for Human Rights & Hamanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law and the American Society of International Law's (ASIL) Leiber Society

Deadline: October 5, 2016

Essay Topic: TOPIC: The theme of the 2016 Competition is "Refugee Protections under International Humanitarian Law." Papers should focus on ways in which IHL intersects with refugee issues, such as status, how refugee protections are affected by issues of gender, race, class, and nationality, the impact of IHL on resettlement and statelessness, etc. Papers without a direct focus on this theme will not be reviewed.

Prize Information:

The winning author will receive a complimentary one-year ASIL student membership and have the opportunity to have their abstract published in the renowed Human Rights Brief, AUWCL's premire human rights publication. The winner will also appear in a video presenation to be featured as part of the Center's Teaching International Law Initiative.

Notes:

Papers must be written by students currently enrolled in a law degree program at a U.S. or foreign law school as of the submission deadline. Submissions must be unpublished academic papers written solely by the candidate in English.

For competition rules and submission guidelines go HERE.

December 2016

The Expert Institute's Annual Legal Writing Scholarship
Legal Writing$2000 to $2499December 2016

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

Sponsor: The Expert Institute

Deadline: December 31, 2016

Essay Topic: J.D. Students – Any topic in litigation involving expert witnesses

Prize Information:

1st prize: $2,000

In addition, your article will be published on The Expert Institute’s blog and distributed in our weekly newsletter, where it will be read by thousands of practicing attorneys.

Notes:

For full contest information and the submission form and criteria go HERE.

Articles must be 1,500 – 2,500 words in length, and written in a blog post format.

American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers Writing Competition
Consumer Financial Services Law$1000 to $1499December 2016

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

Sponsor: American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers

Deadline: December 1, 2016

Essay Topic: Eligible entries will address a topic on consumer financial services, but not securities regulation, insurance, or the safety-and-soundness aspects of banking regulation. Works on subjects within these (or other) areas, however, 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$2000 to $2499December 2016

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

Sponsor: Center for Alcohol Policy

Deadline: December 2, 2016

Essay Topic: The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition and put control over alcohol regulation directly in the hands of the states. Though each state’s alcohol control policies are unique, they all include distinct regulations for different types of alcohol. Why are various types of alcohol regulated in different ways? Should they be?

Prize Information:

First prize: $2,500

Second prize: $1,250

Third prize: $500

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

Legal Blog Post Writing Contest
Legislation$1500 to $1999December 2016

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

Sponsor: The Expert Institute

Deadline: December 31, 2016

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.

February 2017

The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law
Administrative Law$1500 to $1999February 2017

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

Sponsor: American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Deadline: February 5, 2017

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.

Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition
Constitutional Law$3000 to $3999February 2017

Competition Website: https://www.acslaw.org/chapters/studentcompetitions/writing

Sponsor: American Constitution Society (ACS) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School ACS Chapter

Deadline: February 12, 2017

Essay Topic: The American Constitution Society (ACS) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School ACS Chapter host an annual national student writing competition in honor of Constance Baker Motley's legacy. As a civil rights attorney, first woman elected President of the Borough of Manhattan, and the first African-American woman appointed to the federal bench, Motley’s life-long commitment to equality for all aligns with ACS's mission to ensure that law is a force to improve the lives of all people. The deadline for this year's competition February 13, 2017.  ACS welcomes all student papers furthering and promoting a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy. Entrants are encouraged to view this topic broadly, and we welcome submissions on a variety of substantive areas. Examples of possible topics include: Civil Liberties Civil Legal Aid Consumer Rights Criminal Justice Disability Rights Protection of Health, Safety, and the Environment Education Freedom of Speech Privacy Immigration Voting and Political Process Racial Equality Religion Money in Politics (including Judicial Elections) Separation of Powers and Federalism Women's Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Freedom LGBT Rights Human Rights 2nd Amendment and Guns Education Indigent Defense Labor Law

Prize Information:

First Prize: $3000

Two Second Place Prizes: $1000 each

Papers will be judged on the quality of their analysis and writing. The judging committee will include federal judges and leading academics. The student authors of the top three papers will receive special recognition at the ACS National Convention in the summer of 2017The top paper will also receive an offer of publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.

Notes: For full contest rules and submission guidelines see the officila contest flyer HERE.

2017 Human Rights Essay Award Competition
Human Rights Law$0 to $299February 2017

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

Sponsor: Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Deadline: February 1, 2017

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


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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.

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