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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

Article I Initiative Writing Contest

Competition Website: https://fedsoc.org/opportunities/2nd-annual-article-i-writing-contest

Sponsor: The Federalist Society

Deadline: January 13, 2010

Essay Topic: In the annals of republicanism and civil government, few documents surpass the Federalist Papers in terms of influence and exposition. In Federalist 51, James Madison asserted that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” The three branches of government – Legislative, Executive, and Judicial – were each imbued with separate, distinct, theoretically balanced powers of government, in the hopes that the ambition of each branch would “check” the ambitions of the other two branches, thereby ensuring that power remains separated and limited. In light of Congress’ modern forbearance within our Constitutional order, was Madison correct that ambition, rightly channeled, is the best preservative of free government? If so, how can the ambition of Congress best be restored to renew the separation of powers as originally envisioned? If not, what superior alternative exists to make government effective, but limited? What factors – be they political, cultural, geographic, etc. – account for this distortion in Madison’s vision?

Prize Information:

1st Place: $5,000 cash prize and will receive free registration, accommodations, and travel to the Federalist Society’s 2019 Student Symposium, March 23-24 in Phoenix, Arizona

2nd Place: $2,500

2 Honorable mention: $1,000

Notes: See contest webpage for submission guidelines and rules HERE.

Baxter Family Competition on Federalism

Competition Website: https://www.mcgill.ca/law/research/essay-contests/baxter-competition

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

Deadline: January 14, 2019

Essay Topic: Participants are invited to submit an original essay related to any aspect of federal theory or practice. The overarching goal of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism is to advance research and foster informed debate on federalism by young jurists (including law students, law PhD Candidates, junior legal scholars and junior lawyers) from around the world.

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.

James E. Beckley Writing Competition

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

Sponsor: Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)

Deadline: August 31, 2018

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.

Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition

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

Sponsor: Delaware Bar Foundation

Deadline: September 15, 2018

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 2018. 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 2018 graduates of American Bar Association accredited law school, (ii) law students or 2018 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.

Browse All Contests

January 2010

Article I Initiative Writing Contest
Legislation$0 to $299January 2010

Competition Website: https://fedsoc.org/opportunities/2nd-annual-article-i-writing-contest

Sponsor: The Federalist Society

Deadline: January 13, 2010

Essay Topic: In the annals of republicanism and civil government, few documents surpass the Federalist Papers in terms of influence and exposition. In Federalist 51, James Madison asserted that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” The three branches of government – Legislative, Executive, and Judicial – were each imbued with separate, distinct, theoretically balanced powers of government, in the hopes that the ambition of each branch would “check” the ambitions of the other two branches, thereby ensuring that power remains separated and limited. In light of Congress’ modern forbearance within our Constitutional order, was Madison correct that ambition, rightly channeled, is the best preservative of free government? If so, how can the ambition of Congress best be restored to renew the separation of powers as originally envisioned? If not, what superior alternative exists to make government effective, but limited? What factors – be they political, cultural, geographic, etc. – account for this distortion in Madison’s vision?

Prize Information:

1st Place: $5,000 cash prize and will receive free registration, accommodations, and travel to the Federalist Society’s 2019 Student Symposium, March 23-24 in Phoenix, Arizona

2nd Place: $2,500

2 Honorable mention: $1,000

Notes: See contest webpage for submission guidelines and rules HERE.

June 2017

Larry M. Simonsmeier Award
Pharmacy Law$0 to $299June 2017

Competition Website: http://www.aspl.org/larry-m-simonsmeier-award

Sponsor: American Society for Pharmacy Law

Deadline: June 30, 2017

Essay Topic: ASPL recognizes outstanding scholarship related to Pharmacy Law with the Simonsmeier Award. The Award recognizes an outstanding paper relating to the interests of ASPL published during the prior two years (2014-2016).

Prize Information:

The 2017 Award includes an honorarium plus support for travel to the ASPL Developments in Pharmacy Law Seminar XXVIII in Scottsdale, AZ, November 2-5, 2017.

Notes:

The Award is named in honor of the late Larry Simonsmeier (1944-2009), who was a pharmacist and attorney, professor and dean of Washington State University College of Pharmacy, president of ASPL, and editor of Rx Ipsa Loquitur for more than twenty years.

For full nomination and submission guidelines go HERE.

August 2018

National Law Review Law Student Writing Contest
Law & Society$0 to $299August 2018

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

Sponsor: The National Law Review

Deadline: August 31, 2018

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 $1499August 2018

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

Sponsor: Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)

Deadline: August 31, 2018

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.

September 2018

Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition
Legal Ethics$3000 to $3999September 2018

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

Sponsor: Delaware Bar Foundation

Deadline: September 15, 2018

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 2018. 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 2018 graduates of American Bar Association accredited law school, (ii) law students or 2018 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.

October 2018

NW CORPORATE LAW SCHOLARSHIP
Accounting & Law$1000 to $1499October 2018

Competition Website: https://www.nwcorporatelaw.com/law-scholarship/

Sponsor: Northwest Corporate Law LLC

Deadline: October 1, 2018

Essay Topic: Essay: The legal profession is riddled with inefficiencies. In 500 – 700 words identify one particular inefficiency in the profession and propose a creative solution. Essays related to business law or entrepreneurship encouraged, but not required. Points for creativity.

Prize Information:

First Prize $1,000

The scholarship is awarded biannually.

Each semester (spring and fall), there will be one award of $1000 to one student applicant, awarded at the discretion of the firm.

The awarded funds may only be spent on law school educational expenses.

Notes: See website HERE for more information and how to apply.

January 2019

Baxter Family Competition on Federalism
Constitutional Law$5000 or moreJanuary 2019

Competition Website: https://www.mcgill.ca/law/research/essay-contests/baxter-competition

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

Deadline: January 14, 2019

Essay Topic: Participants are invited to submit an original essay related to any aspect of federal theory or practice. The overarching goal of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism is to advance research and foster informed debate on federalism by young jurists (including law students, law PhD Candidates, junior legal scholars and junior lawyers) from around the world.

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.


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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.