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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

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.

James Boskey ADR Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/dispute_resolution/awards_competitions/james_b_boskey_law_student_essay_contest_on_dispute_resolution.html

Sponsor: American Bar Association Section of Deispute Resolution in association with the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution of UNLV Boyd School of Law and Penn State Dickinson

Deadline: June 15, 2018

Essay Topic: The essay may address any aspect of dispute resolution practice, theory or research that the contestant chooses.

Prize Information:

One competition prize of $1,000 dollars will be awarded for the best entry as judged by the Boskey Essay Committee, comprised of representatives from the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.

Notes:

Eligibility:

The competition is open to all full and part-time J.D. law students. Employees of the American Bar Association are ineligible to enter the competition. Previously published essays are not eligible. If a student's essay has been accepted for publication, the student must inform the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution at the time of the initial submission to the competition. If the student's essay is accepted for publication after submission to the essay competition but before a decision is reached by the Essay Committee, the student must inform the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution of this acceptance immediately. The ABA shall have the right of first publication of the winning essay.

Authorship:

Each entry shall be the original work of a single individual and constitute an independent subject. The ideas and work reflected by each entry must be the author's own. The author must perform all of the key tasks of identifying the topic, research it, analyzing it, formulating positions and arguments, and writing and revising the paper for himself or herself. The author may inform another of the progress he or she has made in performing these tasks and accept a reasonable amount of responsive advice from academicians or practitioners in the field but the student must avoid undue collaboration. For example, the author may obtain a professor's opinion that a proposed topic is a good choice, or that a detailed outline should be reorganize, or that a first draft unwisely omits to cover a subtopic or to raise and respond to criticisms of the author's premise. The author must limit the amount of such advice sought or received so that the final entry truly reflects the author's own ideas and work and not that of another.

For full contest submission guidelines and rules go HERE.

Browse All Contests

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.

May 2018

IDEA 2018 Student Writing Contest
Intellectual Property$300 to $999May 2018

Competition Website: http://law.unh.edu/about/unh-law-publications/idea-journal-franklin-pierce-center-intellectual-property/idea-annual

Sponsor: IDEA®: The Journal of the Franklin Pierce Center For Intellectual Property

Deadline: May 31, 2018

Essay Topic: We are looking for original, publishable papers addressing compelling issues in intellectual property law (patent, trade secret, copyright, trademark, publicity and related antitrust issues).

Prize Information:

1st prize - $500 and publication in IDEA®;
2nd prize - $200 and publication in IDEA®;
3rd prize - A one-year subscription to IDEA®.

Notes:

To be eligible for consideration, the paper must focus on intellectual property law and have been written solely by a student.

For full submission guidelines and contest rules go HERE.

Tax Analysts Annual Student Writing Competition
Tax Law$0 to $299May 2018

Competition Website: http://www.taxanalysts.org/awards/for-students

Sponsor: Tax Analysts

Deadline: May 31, 2018

Essay Topic: Papers should be between 2,500 and 12,000 words and focus on an unsettled question in federal, international, or U.S. state tax law or policy.

Prize Information:

This global competition enables students who win to publish a paper in Tax Notes, State Tax Notes, or Tax Notes International and receive a 12-month online subscription to all these weekly magazines after graduation.

Notes: For submission guidelines and rules go HERE.

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

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

Sponsor: The National Law Review

Deadline: May 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.

Justice Rudolph Hargrave Writing Competition
Native American Law$1500 to $1999May 2018

Competition Website: http://www.thesovereigntysymposium.com/Documents/Hargrave%20prize.pdf

Sponsor: The Sovereignty Symposium XXX

Deadline: May 1, 2018

Essay Topic: We invite papers on any issue concerning Native American law.

Prize Information:

First Prize $1,500
Second Prize: $1,000
Third Prize: $750.00

Notes:

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

Andrew P. Vance Memorial Writing Competition
Customs & International Trade Law$1000 to $1499May 2018

Competition Website: http://citba.org/pdf%20files/vancenotice%202007.pdf

Sponsor: The Customs and International Trade Bar Association and Brooklyn Law School

Deadline: May 17, 2018

Essay Topic: An in-depth analysis of a current issue relevant to customs and international trade law.

Prize Information:

Two prizes will be awarded:

$1,000 first prize

$500 second prize

Awards will be presented at the CITBA's semi-annual dinner in the fall.

Winning papers will be considered for publication in the Brooklyn Journal of International Law.

Notes:

Official contest announcement flyer HERE

  • Entrants must be currently enrolled in a J.D. or L.L.M. program at any of the nation's law schools.
  • Submissions should be typewritten, double-spaced on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. The paper shall not exceed 40 pages in length, including footnotes. Papers must include footnotes, not endnotes. Papers should be in 12pt. Times New Roman font and have one-inch margins (right, left, top, and bottom). Noncompliance with these requirements may affect evaluation or result in disqualification. Please include the following on the cover sheet of your paper:
  • Full name, address, and telephone number.
  • Law school and year
  • Date of submission of paper
  • Papers must be electronically submitted to Professor Claire R. Kelly at claire.kelly@brooklaw.edu, no later than May 17, 2018.
  • A committee of practicing attorneys and professors with relevant expertise will judge the papers. The following factors will be considered:
  • Legal analysis
  • Thoroughness and depth of topic
  • Evaluation of judicial precedents, statutes, and regulations
  • Writing style
  • Form and quality of citation
  • Conformity with rules of competition

Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Competition
Administrative Law$5000 or moreMay 2018

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/administrative_law/2018_Gellhorn_Sargentich_approved.authcheckdam.pdf

Sponsor: ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice

Deadline: May 1, 2018

Essay Topic: Discuss any topic relating to administrative law.

Prize Information:

Prize: $5,000

The winner will also receive round-trip airfare and accommodation to attend the Section's Fall Conference in Washington, DC. At the discretion of the Section and the respective editorial boards, the winning entry may be selected for publication in the Administrative and Regulatory Law News and/or the Administrative Law Review.

Notes:

Eligibility:

The competition is open to currently enrolled students of ABA-accredited law schools who are also members of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Submissions can include papers submitted for a law school course, law review notes and comments, or pieces written specifically for the competition. Essays must be the work of the submitting student without substantial editorial input from others. Co-authored papers are ineligible. Only one essay may be submitted per entrant.

For more information and submission guidelines see the official contest flyer here.

Chief Justice John B. Doolin Writing Competition
Native American Law$300 to $999May 2018

Competition Website: http://www.thesovereigntysymposium.com/scholarships.aspx

Sponsor: Supreme Court of Oklahoma and the Sovereignty Symposium, Inc.

Deadline: May 1, 2018

Essay Topic: The subject matter of the paper may be on any area of the law relating to Native Americans or other indigenous peoples.

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $750.00

2nd Prize: $500.00

3rd Prize: $250.00

The winning entry will also be published in the 2018 Symposium compendium of materials.  Second and third place entries will be published if space permits. 

Notes:

The entries in the writing competition must be not less than thirty (30) single-spaced pages nor more than fifty (50) single-spaced pages in length. The paper used shall be 8-1/2" x 11" in size. The title of the paper, the name of the author and a current mailing address and telephone number must be placed on the cover page. Only the title of the paper should appear at the top of the first page of the text. The author's name should appear on the cover page only. Papers must be submitted in Word or Word Perfect format. E-mail the formatted version to kyle.shifflett@oscn.net. Use a 12-point font in Times New Roman format. Again, the document should be single spaced. The left and right margins must be 2"; the top and bottom margins must be 1/5".

Papers are evaluated for: Timelines of Subject; Originality; Legal Analysis; Use of Authority; Creativity; Strength and Logic of Conclusions; Grammar; Punctuation and Writing Style.

Entries must be received no later than May 1, 2018. Publication releases will be required prior to payment of prize money. Email entries to e-mail kyle.shifflet@oscn.net.

For more information see the contest website HERE.

Intellectual Property Law Student Writing Competition
Intellectual Property$5000 or moreMay 2018

Competition Website: http://www.vsb.org/site/sections/intellectualproperty-news/2018_vsb_ip_law_section_writing_competition_deadline_may_31_2018

Sponsor: Virginia State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section

Deadline: May 31, 2018

Essay Topic: Articles must relate to an intellectual property law issue or the practice of intellectual property law. Preference may be given to topics demonstrating particular relevance to contemporary events, addressing unsettled issues of law, or presenting novel and unique perspectives.

Prize Information:

1st Prize $5,000

The IP Section may also award a Second Place prize of $2,500 in its discretion.

Notes:

For more information, rules and submission guidelins go HERE.

The winner will be announced no earlier than August 17, 2018 and no later than September 21, 2018.

No article submitted as an entry in this competition may be published in any other forum until the competition has ended and the winner has been announced. After that time, articles submitted but not selected as the winning article may be published without limitation.

Pacific Legal Foundation Law Student Writing Competition
Human Rights Law$5000 or moreMay 2018

Competition Website: http://www.pacificlegal.org/pja/writingcomp

Sponsor: The Pacific Legal Foundation's Program for Judicial Awareness

Deadline: May 15, 2018

Essay Topic: 1. Property Rights - An increasing number of local jurisdictions regulate residential rental housing.  Some regulations require local government employees to conduct extensive, warrantless inspections of residential rental properties (inside and out) in exchange for a certificate to continue renting the property.  Some jurisdictions attempt to force landlords and tenants to agree to warrantless inspections, by fining the landlord and refusing to issue a rental certificate for the property. What are the best constitutional arguments against warrantless searches that can be raised by the landlord and the tenants, with particular emphasis on the Fourth Amendment and the unconstitutional conditions doctrine? 2. Economic Liberty - In her dissent to the decision in Hettinga v. United States, D.C. Circuit Court Judge Janice Rodgers Brown noted that “the practical effect of rational basis review of economic regulation is the absence of any check on the group interests that all too often control the democratic process.” What are the best arguments justifying the rational-basis standard of review for economic regulation, and what are the best arguments against? 3. Environmental Law - The Endangered Species Act (ESA) makes it a crime to “knowingly” take an endangered species, with “take” broadly defined to include any act that has an adverse effect on single member of the species or its habitat. At times the government has argued that a defendant need only have knowingly engaged in an act that resulted in a take to commit the crime of take. In these instances, the government suggests that knowledge of each of the elements of offense – that his actions will result in a take and knowledge of the species taken – is unnecessary to prove the crime. At other times, the government has followed the “McKittrick Policy” – that to have the necessary mens rea to commit a criminal take, knowledge of the elements is necessary to prove the crime. What constitutional or statutory concerns (if any) exist with respect to the abandonment of the McKittrick policy? 4. Free Speech - City recently adopted a democracy voucher program. City mails out four $25 vouchers to each City voter at the start of every municipal election year. The recipients may only use the vouchers as campaign contributions to candidates for City elected office who qualify to receive vouchers under rules set out by the City Ethics and Elections Commission. The voucher program is funded by a dedicated property levy imposed on all property owners. Does the democracy voucher program violate the Constitution? If so, then how? If necessary, address what additional facts or details might affect the constitutionality of the program.

Prize Information:

First Place: $5,000

Second Place: $3,000

Third Place: $1,000

The winner will also be recognized at the Annual Pacific Legal Foundation Gala. PLF will pay for the winner’s reasonable travel costs to attend the gala and will assist with travel arrangements.

Notes:

Please email your submission to PJA@pacificlegal.org. In the body of the email please include your contact information, the law school you attend, and your expected graduation date. You will be notified via email when your submission is received.

For full submission guidelines and contest rules go HERE.

June 2018

Smith- Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition
Property Law$2000 to $2499June 2018

Competition Website: https://www.planning.org/divisions/planningandlaw/writingcompetition/

Sponsor: Planning & Law Division of the American Planning Association

Deadline: June 4, 2018

Essay Topic: Entries should demonstrate original thought on a question of significance in either city planning or associated areas of law (e.g., land use, local government or environmental law) and will be evaluated based on: (1) originality; (2) contribution to the understanding or development of the fields of planning and law; (3) quality of scholarship; and (4) quality and organization of writing.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $2,000 and will be submitted for publication in The Urban Lawyer, the law journal of the American Bar Association's Section of State & Local Government Law.

2nd Place: $400

3rd Place: $100

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

Robert C. Watson Award
Intellectual Property$0 to $299June 2018

Competition Website: http://www.aipla.org/resources2/programs/Pages/Robert-C.-Watson-Award.aspx

Sponsor: American Intellectual Property Law Association

Deadline: June 29, 2018

Essay Topic: Law students are encouraged to submit an article on an IP topic, written on or before June 29, 2018. Judges will consider the merit of the article as a contribution to the knowledge respecting intellectual property and the extent to which it displays original and creative thought or information not previously written or published by the author prior to July 1, 2017

Prize Information:

The winner will receive reasonable expense reimbursement to attend the AIPLA Annual Meeting, October 25 – 27, 2018 in Washington DC, to receive their award

Notes:

To be eligible for consideration, articles must be:

  • Written solely by a full-time law student (day or evening)
  • Emailed and received by AIPLA on or before June 30, 2017
  • Approximately 10 law review pages including footnotes (30-40 typed pages)
  • Please submit 1 copy (pdf format preferred) to wastsonaward@aipla.org
  • Accompanied by the writer’s name, current address, phone number, e-mail address and employment information if appropriate

CSCHS Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition
Legal History, Rare Law Books, Legal Arc$2500 to $2999June 2018

Competition Website: http://www.cschs.org/programs/student-writings/

Sponsor: The California Supreme Court Historical Society

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Essay Topic: Original, unpublished scholarly writing on any aspect of California legal history, ranging from the Supreme Court itself, and its justices and decisions, to local events of legal historical importance—including biography, significant cases, independent state interpretation, the California Constitution, and reorganization of the court system, as well as areas of law such as criminal law, civil rights, family law, tort liability, environmental law, and taxation—in any time period from 1846 to the present.

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $2,500
2nd Prize: $500
3rd Prize: $250

with possible publication in the journal.

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

Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition
Wills & Trusts$5000 or moreJune 2018

Competition Website: https://actecfoundation.org/resources-for-law-students/law-student-writing-competition/

Sponsor: American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

Deadline: June 15, 2018

Essay Topic: Area and Topics: The paper must relate to the area of trusts and estates, broadly defined. Any one or more of the following topics are appropriate for discussion: Business Planning Charitable Planning Elder Law Employee Benefits Fiduciary Accounting Fiduciary Administration Fiduciary Income Taxation Fiduciary Litigation Estate Planning and Drafting Professional Responsibility Substantive Laws for the Gratuitous Transmission of Property Wealth Transfer Taxation (Estate, Gift and GST Tax)

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $5,000 and publication in the ACTEC Law Journal.

2nd Prize: $3,000 online publication on ACTEC’s website, and possible publication in the ACTEC Law Journal

3rd Prize: $1,000 online publication on ACTEC’s website, and possible publication in the ACTEC Law Journal.

Notes:

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

Criminal Record Expungement Writing Competition
Criminal Procedure$2000 to $2499June 2018

Competition Website: http://www.recordgone.com/law-student-expungement-competition-2nd.htm

Sponsor: Higbee & Associates

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Essay Topic: Please choose one of the following: How to improve expungement related laws in (state of your choice) When, if ever, should government stop reporting criminal records to the public? Can criminal record expungement can break cycles of recidivism

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $2,000

2nd Prize: $1,000

3rd Prize: $300

$200 Honorable Mention

Notes:

The competition is designed to increase awareness of the impact of laws governing the retention and dissemination of criminal records by courts and state agencies, as well as the laws governing the public’s use of such records. This unique competition will be judged by a diverse panel of judges representing practitioners, academics and business professionals in the background check industry. Along with a first, second and third prize, there will be a prize for best research and best policy recommendations.

For full contest guidelines and submission instructions go HERE.

The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Law Student Writing Competition
Labor & Employment Law$3000 to $3999June 2018

Competition Website: http://www.laborandemploymentcollege.org/white-papers/law-student-writing-competition/law-student-writing-competition-2

Sponsor: The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law

Deadline: June 15, 2018

Essay Topic: Entries should address aspects of public or private sector labor and/or employment law relevant to the American labor and employment bar. Students are encouraged to discuss a public policy issue, practical implications of a leading case or doctrine, a statute or the need for statutory modification, or a common law doctrine. Articles may address U.S. law, international law of relevance to U.S. labor and employment attorneys, or how a legal topic is treated in states across the country. Papers limited to the law of a single state will not be considered. Papers must be analytical in nature, not merely a summary of the law. Students must present and discuss competing points of view with respect to the issue addressed and must distinguish their conclusions from opposing positions with sound logic and reference to multiple primary and secondary sources. We discourage students from writing articles about recent a Supreme Court decision or a case pending before the Supreme Court unless the article focuses upon case law or statutory developments subsequent to the Supreme Court’s decision.

Prize Information:

First Place: $3000

The first place winning article will be published in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law. In addition, the author will be a guest at the annual CLE program of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and honored at the Annual Induction Dinner of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Second Place: $1000

Third Place: $500

Notes:

For full UPDATED contest guidelines and submission details please see the contest flyer HERE.

Students are strongly encouraged to confer or consult with a labor or employment law professor or practitioner on topic selection and in the formation of arguments presented in the paper.  However, manuscripts must be the original work of a single author, may not have been written for paid employment, and may not have been submitted for publication elsewhere. 

Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing
Legal Writing$5000 or moreJune 2018

Competition Website: https://www.brownsims.com/about-brown-sims/affiliations/judge-john-r-brown-award/

Sponsor: The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation

Deadline: June 1, 2018

Essay Topic: This year there is no page limitation or restriction on the topic except that the writing must be on a legal subject.

Prize Information:

1st Place $10,000

Second Place $5,000
Third Place $3,000
Finalist $1,000
Finalist $1,000

$5,000 to the Scholarship Fund selected by the Dean of the law school in which the First Place candidate is enrolled.

Notes:

Any law student currently enrolled in an accredited law school in the United States seeking a J.D. or LL.B. degree is eligible to receive the Award.

In order to be considered, two copies of a current legal writing must be submitted to the Foundation c/o Kenneth G. Engerrand, Brown Sims, P.C., Tenth Floor, 1177 West Loop South, Houston, Texas 77027-9007. The article must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a law school faculty member or legal professional other than the author of the paper. Only one paper may be submitted on behalf of any student and only one paper may be sponsored by any faculty member or legal professional.

For full contest information and submission guidelines go HERE.

Annual Employee Benefits Writing Competition
Labor & Employment Law$1500 to $1999June 2018

Competition Website: https://www.acebc.com/employee-benefits-writing-competition

Sponsor: American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

Deadline: June 1, 2018

Essay Topic: Any topic in the field of employee benefits law.

Prize Information:

Alvin D Lurie Memorial Award: $1,500

Sidney M. Perlstadt Memorial Award: $1,500

Winners will be honored during the College’s annual black tie dinner on September 15, 2018 in Nashville, TN. They will receive a plaque and an employee benefits treatise published by Bloomberg BNA Books. The winning papers will also be distributed to the Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, experienced attorneys who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the employee benefits field in a wide range of practice settings including law and consulting firms, universities, labor unions, advocacy organizations and government agencies throughout the United States. The College will also use its best efforts to have one or more of the winning papers published in the Benefits Law Journal or another professional or scholarly publication, if deemed suitable by the College's Writing Prize Committee and the editors of the publication.

Notes:

Eligibility/Topics: applicants must be enrolled full-time or part-time in law school between August 15, 2017 and August 15, 2018 and seeking a J.D. or a graduate law degree (e.g., L.L.M. or S.J.D.).
Papers must deal with employee benefits topics. As an illustrative example, a paper might address legal issues involving health benefits, pensions, 401(k) plans, severance, executive compensation, claims, appeals, current or former spouses’ or domestic partners’ benefits, collectively - bargained benefits, benefits in bankruptcy, ERISA litigation, fiduciary obligations or the tax treatment of benefits/contributions.
Questions concerning the Competition should be directed to Brian Dougherty, Chair of the ACEBC Writing Prize Committee at brian.dougherty@morganlewis.com.

For full contest rules and submission guidelines see the official flyer HERE. Dates on flyer are incorrect but rules information is accurate.

James Boskey ADR Writing Competition
Alternative Dispute Resolution$1000 to $1499June 2018

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/dispute_resolution/awards_competitions/james_b_boskey_law_student_essay_contest_on_dispute_resolution.html

Sponsor: American Bar Association Section of Deispute Resolution in association with the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution of UNLV Boyd School of Law and Penn State Dickinson

Deadline: June 15, 2018

Essay Topic: The essay may address any aspect of dispute resolution practice, theory or research that the contestant chooses.

Prize Information:

One competition prize of $1,000 dollars will be awarded for the best entry as judged by the Boskey Essay Committee, comprised of representatives from the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.

Notes:

Eligibility:

The competition is open to all full and part-time J.D. law students. Employees of the American Bar Association are ineligible to enter the competition. Previously published essays are not eligible. If a student's essay has been accepted for publication, the student must inform the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution at the time of the initial submission to the competition. If the student's essay is accepted for publication after submission to the essay competition but before a decision is reached by the Essay Committee, the student must inform the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution of this acceptance immediately. The ABA shall have the right of first publication of the winning essay.

Authorship:

Each entry shall be the original work of a single individual and constitute an independent subject. The ideas and work reflected by each entry must be the author's own. The author must perform all of the key tasks of identifying the topic, research it, analyzing it, formulating positions and arguments, and writing and revising the paper for himself or herself. The author may inform another of the progress he or she has made in performing these tasks and accept a reasonable amount of responsive advice from academicians or practitioners in the field but the student must avoid undue collaboration. For example, the author may obtain a professor's opinion that a proposed topic is a good choice, or that a detailed outline should be reorganize, or that a first draft unwisely omits to cover a subtopic or to raise and respond to criticisms of the author's premise. The author must limit the amount of such advice sought or received so that the final entry truly reflects the author's own ideas and work and not that of another.

For full contest submission guidelines and rules go HERE.

H. Thomas Austern Memorial Writing Competition
Food and Drug Law$300 to $999June 2018

Competition Website: http://www.fdli.org/resources/academics/h-thomas-austern-memorial-writing-competition

Sponsor: The Food and Drug Law Institute

Deadline: June 11, 2018

Essay Topic: Papers should provide an indepth analysis of a current legal or regulatory issue concerning FDA regulated industries: food, drugs, animal drugs, biologics, cosmetics, diagnostics, dietary supplements, medical devices or tobacco. FDLI welcomes the submission of papers prepared for course work, but entrants must pay attention to competition details and edit such papers accordingly

Prize Information:

1st place - $750

2nd place - $500

3rd place - $250

Winning papers will be considered for publication in the Food and Drug Law Journal.

Notes:

We do accept submissions that have been submitted to other writing contests, however, if you win FDLI’s competition and are chosen to be published in the Food and Drug Law Journal it must be the first publication that includes your article.

Students should register for submission in our online competition portal; all papers must be submitted within the portal.

For full submission guidelines and contest rules go HERE.

2018 Student Writing Competition in Cultural Heritage Preservation Law
Cultural Heritage Law$1000 to $1499June 2018

Competition Website: http://www.culturalheritagelaw.org/competition

Sponsor: The Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Essay Topic: Papers must address any aspect of cultural heritage law, such as art, terrestrial and submerged cultural property, historic preservation, indigenous peoples, and intangible cultural heritage (but not intellectual property or family law issues, except as they relate to cultural heritage).

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $500

2nd Prize: $500 at LCCHP discretion

Notes:

To be eligible for consideration, the paper must have been written between June 30, 2016 and June 27, 2017. Papers that have been published or accepted for publication are eligible for consideration as long as the other eligibility and formatting requirements are satisfied.

The competition is open to U.S. law students at law schools approved by the American Bar Association and recent law graduates who were students at the time they wrote their papers. Students enrolled in a JD, LLB, or other first degree program in law at an accredited faculty outside the United States may also participate. Students must be in good standing at their institutions. They are encouraged, but not required, to be a member of the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation.

Papers must be the work of one student author alone (joint submissions will not be considered).  Each author may submit only one paper to this year’s competition.

Full full contest information and submission guidelines go HERE.

July 2018

William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition
Criminal Procedure$2500 to $2999July 2018

Competition Website: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/criminal_justice/greenhalgh_rules.authcheckdam.pdf

Sponsor: Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association

Deadline: July 1, 2018

Essay Topic: The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” This provision is a powerful protector of privacy rights for individuals. Despite this, the one sentence amendment is vague, and what constitutes reasonableness has been left to the judicial branch for interpretation. With technological innovations comes the potential for law enforcement to develop new tools to investigate and prosecute crimes. Today, law enforcement officers, attorneys, and courts are challenged by the constitutional implications of emerging technologies that were not contemplated in the 18th century when the Fourth Amendment was drafted. One such tool is the “cell site simulator,” also known as the “IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catcher,” “stingray,” “triggerfish,” or “swamp box.” The device operates by mimicking the signal of a cell phone tower to mobile phones in a given neighborhood. The phones respond, providing their ID numbers. Once a phone is connected to the simulator, the operator can pinpoint its location with an error margin of only a few feet. This process can transpire without the knowledge of the phone user or the third-party network carrier. Contestants should address the following questions: Does using a cell site simulator constitute an “unreasonable” search in Fourth Amendment terms? If not, why not? And if yes, why and when? Please address the following issues: The legal relevance of the reliance of cell site simulators on information that has been voluntarily conveyed to third parties. The impact of the location of the phone and the length of surveillance on your Fourth Amendment analysis. The potential need to reexamine certain precepts of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence in the digital age. One such precept is the third-party doctrine established by Smith v. Maryland (99 S.Ct. 2577 (1979)), according to which an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in business record information voluntarily transmitted to a third party. In a modern era in which every aspect of our lives is “voluntarily” transmitted to and recorded by third parties — from our location information (through location-based Google Maps, cell phone towers, our cars, or our miscellaneous “checkins”, among others), to our Cloud stored e-mails and data, Fitbit recorded exercise regimens, and lists of Facebook “friends” — should we continue to characterize such disclosures as “voluntary” and surrender all expectations of privacy in such information? Clear, persuasive and original analytical reasoning that is well supported with concrete examples and references are essential and will weigh heavily in the determination of the contest winner

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $2,500 cash prize that may be presented at an agreed-upon CJS event with approved transportation costs not to exceed $800 to be covered by the Section. (The winner is solely responsible for taxes on both the cash prize and reimbursed travel.)

Notes: For full contest guidelines and submission information see the official flyer HERE.

Admiral John S. Jenkins Prize for Excellence in Military Studies
Military Law$0 to $299July 2018

Competition Website: https://nimj.org/nimj-writing-competitions/rear-admiral-john-s-jenkins-writing-award/

Sponsor: National Institute for Military Justice (NIMJ)

Deadline: July 31, 2018

Essay Topic: Submissions will be evaluated by a committee of law professors and practitioners based on the criterion of "excellence in writing on military law."

Prize Information:

First Prize $250

Notes:

Students may nominate their own work, including work that has been published in a law journal; faculty may also nominate deserving student papers. Papers and/or published articles are eligible for this award if they were written by a candidate for a J.D. degree (that is, by a student who has not yet completed his or her degree) in academic year 2017-18.

Interested students or recommending faculty should submit the paper, along with the author¹s name, phone and email, and any publication information on the paper, to NIMJ at nimjemail@gmail.com no later than 31 July 2018.

Tannenwald Writing Competition
Tax Law$5000 or moreJuly 2018

Competition Website: http://www.tannenwald.org/Competition-Rules

Sponsor: The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship, Inc. and The American College of Tax Counsel

Deadline: July 6, 2018

Essay Topic: Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannenwald Writing Competition is open to full or part-time law school students, undergraduate or graduate (L.L.M. or S.J.D.). Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules (viewable at www.tannenwald.org).

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $5,000

2nd Prize: $2,500

3rd Prize: $1,500

Provided that the first-prize paper has not been published or accepted for publication elsewhere, the Foundation has arranged for the publication of such paper in The Florida Tax Review (subject to the normal review and editorial processes of that journal).

Appropriate recognition will also be given to the faculty sponsors of winning papers.

Notes:

Official announcement and rules HERE.

Deadline for submitted papers: 9:00 p.m. EDT, July 6, 2018.

Mail papers to: Tannenwald Foundation, 700 Sixth Street, NW, Ste. 700, Washington, DC 20001, Attn: Sandie Kiedrowski.

For more information contact: Nancy Abramowitz at 202-274-4164 (nabramo@wcl.american.edu).

Robert T. Matsui Annual Writing Competition
Asian Pacific American Law$5000 or moreJuly 2018

Competition Website: http://www.aefdc.com/matsui-writing-competition/

Sponsor: Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund (AEF)

Deadline: July 1, 2018

Essay Topic: Through this writing competition, AEF seeks to encourage legal scholarship on issues of importance to the Asian Pacific legal community and, more generally, the publication of law review articles on topics of relevance to racial and ethnic minorities and the law.

Prize Information: The winner of the 2017 Competition will receive a monetary award of $6,000, and the winning entry will be published by the UCLA School of Law's Asian Pacific American Law Journal.

Notes:

For additional information go HERE.

American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize
Legal Ethics$5000 or moreJuly 2018

Competition Website: http://home.innsofcourt.org/AIC/Awards_and_Scholarships/Warren_E_Burger_Prize/AIC/Awards_and_Scholarships/Warren_E_Burger_Prize/Warren_E_Burger_Prize.aspx

Sponsor: American Inns of Court

Deadline: July 1, 2018

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

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.

Jacques Leroy International Prize in Business & Human Rights
Human Rights Law$1000 to $1499July 2018

Competition Website: http://www.uianet.org/en/content/call-applications-9th-international-jacques-leroy

Sponsor: Union Internationale Des Avocats

Deadline: July 31, 2018

Essay Topic: This year, the Jacques Leroy Prize focuses on how we can put an end to Modern Day Slavery. Recent reports on multinationals by prominent media outlets have brought to light evidence of modern slavery within their supply chains. These revelations have had an extremely negative impact upon the reputations of these corporations. The clear aim of these exposés on forced labour within supply chains across a number of sectors, taken together with the implementation of new legislation such as the UK Modern Slavery Act and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act is to improve the transparency within the supply chains of large corporations. Several strong messages have been sent to corporations. The legislation creates transparency obligations for corporations which are vital in enabling victims to assess the possibility of bringing legal action. However, across a number of jurisdictions, the implementation of the regulations on transparency is not underpinned by a legal framework and the failure to adopt measures which create a right of recourse for victims represent obstacles to genuine progress in this arena.  What mechanisms presently exist to enable victims of modern slavery to access remedies? What steps can human rights defenders take to assist victims of modern slavery in asserting their rights where national legislation does not provide any clear and practical remedies for victims? Do strategic and creative forms of litigation by pro-human rights NGOs and legal action by victims represent the only means of encouraging corporations to act more responsibly and obtain redress for victims?  

Prize Information:

Prize: € 1000

as well as a year's free membership in the UIA for the calendar year following the award of the prize.

Notes: For more information and submission guidelines see the website HERE for official flyer and other information.

Entries may be written in English, French or Spanish.

The competition is open to all law students under 35 years of age.

George Hutchinson Writing Competition
The Judiciary$3000 to $3999July 2018

Competition Website: https://fedcirbar.org/Portals/0/2018%20Hutchinson%20Contest%20Flyer%20and%20Rules.pdf

Sponsor: Federal Circuit Bar Association

Deadline: July 1, 2018

Essay Topic: Entries to the contest may discuss any topice that lies within the procedure, substance, or scope of the jurisdiction of the Court.

Prize Information:

Prize: $3,000

Second and third place cash prizes may also be awarded at the discretion of the judges.

Winners will be publicly announced at the FCBA’s November 2018 Annual Dinner in Washington, D.C. The prize-winning paper may be considered for publication in the Federal Circuit Bar Journal.

In addition,the winner will receive significant favorable publicity among all members of FCBA.

Notes:

The competition is open to all law students enrolled in ABA accredited law schools. We permit and encourage students to base their entries on papers that they prepared for law school courses and seminars during the 2017/2018 school year. The competition is open for the entire school year so that papers prepared during the most recent Fall or Spring semester can be eligible.
For full contest guidelines and submission instructions see the official contest flyer HERE.

George Jay Joseph Education Law Writing Award
Education Law$0 to $299July 2018

Competition Website: https://educationlaw.org/ela-award-nominations/george-jay-joseph-award

Sponsor: The Education Law Association in cooperation with the Journal of Law and Education

Deadline: July 1, 2018

Essay Topic: The subject matter must address one or more legal issues within any of the various contexts of education, including public and private K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, especially current and emerging issues in elementary and secondary public education.

Prize Information:

The winner of the competition will be recognized at the Education Law Association's Annual Conference (ELA), and the manuscript will be published in the Journal of Law and Education. Additionally, the winner will be invited to present on the topic of the article at the ELA Annual Conference and receive a commemorative plaque, a year's membership in ELA, waiver of the registration fee for the annual conference, and national recognition via an ELA press release.

Notes:

Works submitted for the competition must not have been previously published and must not be under review elsewhere for publication.

Doctoral dissertations are not eligible. However, manuscripts that synthesize dissertations may be submitted, provided that they meet the specifications.

Format: double-spaced, with 12-point font and one-inch margins, with footnotes on each respective page (rather than at the end) carefully conforming to Blue Book citation style.

Authorship: single-authored by a law student (not LL.M.) or a student in a graduate program in education (not postdoctoral).

Length: between 35 and 55 pages including footnotes.

For submission guidelines go HERE

2018 Animal Law Student Writing Competition
Animal Law$1000 to $1499July 2018

Competition Website: http://www.nysba.org/CustomTemplates/Content.aspx?id=63224

Sponsor: The Committee on Animals and the Law of the New York State Bar Association

Deadline: July 12, 2018

Essay Topic: Law students (which include J.D., L.L.M., Ph.D., and S.J.D. candidates) are invited to submit to the Committee on Animals and the Law an article concerning any area of Animal Law. All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of attorneys and other professionals practicing or otherwise involved in animal law.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $1,000 and a certificate of achievement.

2nd Place: $500 and a certificate of achievement.

Notes: For more information, contest rules and submission guidelines see the contest webpage HERE.

August 2018

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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