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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

The 2020 Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/lawyers_professional_liability/awards/overview/

Sponsor: The ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability

Deadline: February 21, 2020

Essay Topic: The 2020 Contest Essay Hypothetical involves diminished mental capacity of a trusts and estates attorney who is being sued for legal malpractice by the beneficiaries of an estate where said attorney served as Executor and the scope of permitted disclosure of the attorney-client by the legal malpractice defense attorney and insurance carrier.

Prize Information:

Winner Prize: $5,000

All-expense-paid trip to the Spring 2020 National Legal Malpractice Conference in New Orleans.

Notes:

The contest is open to law students and young lawyers who will have enrolled as members of the American Bar Association as of Feb. 21, 2020.

For full submission guidelines and rules go HERE.

2020 Paul Faherty Tax Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://www.jmls.edu/academics/taxeb/writing-competition.php

Sponsor: John Marshall Law School

Deadline: April 13, 2020

Essay Topic: The scope of permissible topics for the writing competition is broad—any aspect of tax law is acceptable. Students are encouraged to submit: a paper addressing: a public policy issue, a critique of a leading case or doctrine, a comment on a statute or the need for statutory modification, or a comment on a common law doctrine

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $3,000

Two (2) Honerable mention papers: $1,000 each

The winning paper will also be posted on the website of The John Marshall Law School Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits and excerpted in an upcoming issue of the Center's TaxEB InBrief magazine.

Notes:

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

(Dates on flyer are incorrect but contest IS running for 2020)

White River Environmental Law Writing Competition

Competition Website: http://vjel.vermontlaw.edu/writing-competition/

Sponsor: Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and Vermont Law School

Deadline: March 15, 2020

Essay Topic: Applicants are invited to submit original essays addressing any relevant topic in the fields of environmental law, natural resource law, energy law, environmental justice, land use law, animal law, and agricultural law.

Prize Information:

1st Prize $1,000

and an offer of publication with the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law.

Notes: Please include “Competition Submission” in the e-mail subject line. To ensure anonymity and impartiality in the judging of submissions, please include with your submission a cover page that includes your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, law school, and year of graduation. Do not include your name or any other personal information in any other part of your submission.

The Roy Snell Health Care Regulatory & Compliance Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://mitchellhamline.edu/health-law-institute/roy-snell-health-care-regulatory-and-compliance-writing-competition/

Sponsor: Health Law Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Deadline: February 1, 2020

Essay Topic: The Competition Problem (the “Problem”) is purely fictional and prepared solely for this educational purpose. The competition’s scope focuses on applicable “federal health care laws and regulations.” For purposes of your submissions, “federal health care laws and regulations” should be interpreted broadly and includes, but is not limited to, the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, False Claims Act, and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as well as other applicable statutes, regulations, and guidance pertaining to federal health care programs.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $5000 cash prize
Paid registration for the 2021 HCCA Annual Compliance Institute* (valued at over $1,500)
Up to $1500 in travel and conference-related expenses.

2nd Place: $3000 cash prize
Paid registration for the 2021 HCCA Annual Compliance Institute*
Up to $1500 in travel and conference-related expenses.

3rd Place: $1500 cash prize
Paid registration for the 2021 HCCA Annual Compliance Institute*
Up to $1500 in travel and conference-related expenses.

Notes: Full contest details can be found HERE.

Browse All Contests

January 2020

Article I Initiative Writing Contest
Legislation$5000 or moreJanuary 2020

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

Sponsor: The Federalist Society

Deadline: January 7, 2020

Essay Topic: Topic: The Nondelegation Doctrine: Intelligible Principle or Unworkable Standard? Our Constitution vests legislative, executive, and judicial powers in three discrete, separate branches. Can Congress modify this constitutional structure by delegating its power to write laws to the administration? According to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Wayman v. Southard, the answer is no. How then do executive agencies possess the vast regulatory power we witness today? In J.W. Hampton v. United States, the Court held that agencies exercise executive, not legislative, power while writing regulations, so long as they are guided by an “intelligible principle” from Congress.  Whatever its justification, this caveat has proven to be the rule rather than the exception. Examples of the Court invalidating regulations for violating the doctrine laid out in Wayman are rare. However, in Gundy v. United States’ striking dissent, three justices called for the revival of the nondelegation doctrine. With Justice Alito signaling agreement in his opinion concurring with the majority, and Justice Kavanaugh’s recent ascent to the Court, it seems likely the issue will return to the Court’s docket. Is the doctrine in need of resuscitation? What would a revived doctrine look like? What would be its practical effects? And how should Congress prepare if they are forced by the Court to take a more active role in generating regulations?

Prize Information:

1st Place: $7,000

2nd Place: $2,000

Honorable mention: $1,000

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

The Burton Awards
Legal Writing$0 to $299January 2020

Competition Website: https://www.burtonawards.com/awards/legal-writing-awards-students/

Sponsor: Law 360 and ABA

Deadline: January 3, 2020

Essay Topic: The Burton Awards academic board will select 10 law school students to honor with “Distinguished Legal Writing” Award. This great honor will be given to the authors of legal articles that demonstrate creativity, knowledge, and know-how. While the length and subject matter of the legal articles are not limited, the winners will display a true understanding and mastery of the law and their writing must be clear, cogent and concise.

Prize Information:

Complementary ticket to awards gala held at the Library of Congress on May 21, 2018.

Notes:

Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition
Accounting & Law$2000 to $2499January 2020

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

Sponsor: The Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation

Deadline: January 7, 2020

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 College of Legal Medicine's Student Writing Competition in Law, Medicine & Bioethics
Bioethics$1000 to $1499January 2020

Competition Website: https://aclm.memberclicks.net/student-writing-compeition

Sponsor: The American College of Legal Medicine

Deadline: January 15, 2020

Essay Topic: Every year, the American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM) presents an award for the outstanding original paper on legal medicine. All students studying Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Podiatry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Service, Healthcare Administration or Public Health are encouraged to compete. Legal medicine is the professional and academic discipline that concerns itself with legal aspects of medical science, medical practice and other healthcare delivery. Practitioners of the specialty have sufficient training, knowledge and expertise to address the scope of the specialty from a scholarly, scientific and practical perspective. As the subject matter of legal medicine is broad, we are looking for quality papers that cover any aspect of legal medicine.

Prize Information:

Hirsh Award Winner - $1,000

2nd Prize - $500

3rd Prize - $250

The first place paper will be named the Hirsh Award Winner. The winner of the Hirsh Award will be invited to serve on the 2020 Awards Committee and receive a complimentary one-year membership in the American College of Legal Medicine. In addition, the ACLM Foundation will reimburse the Hirsh Award winner for reasonable coach airfare and one night of lodging at the host hotel to present his or her paper at the ACLM Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

Notes: Click here for more information regarding the Student Writing Competition.

Louis Jackson National Student Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law
Labor & Employment Law$3000 to $3999January 2020

Competition Website: https://www.kentlaw.iit.edu/institutes-centers/institute-for-law-and-the-workplace/louis-jackson-writing-competition

Sponsor: Jackson Lewis LLP and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, The Institute for Law and the Workplace

Deadline: January 22, 2020

Essay Topic: Employment and Labor Law

Prize Information:

First Place: $3000 Scholarship

Second & Third Place: $1000 Scholarship each

Notes:

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

Requirements & Eligibility: Entries must be the law student author's own work and must not be submitted for publication elsewhere. Authors must have completed or be currently taking course work in employment or labor law, and must be enrolled in an accredited law school during the Fall 2017 semester. Only the first two submissions per law school will be accepted as entries for consideration.

Judging: Entries will be blind-judged by an independent panel of law professors from across the United States. The determination of the judges' panel is final. Neither Jackson Lewis LLP nor the Institute for Law and the Workplace will be involved in judging the competition.

22nd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition
Entertainment Law$5000 or moreJanuary 2020

Competition Website: https://www.grammy.com/entertainment-law-initiative

Sponsor: GRAMMY Foundation and the ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries

Deadline: January 2, 2020

Essay Topic: 22nd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition The Recording Academy™, in concert with some of the nation’s most prominent entertainment attorneys, established the Entertainment Law Initiative® to promote discussion and debate about the most compelling legal issues facing the music industry today. Now in its 22nd year, the program has grown to include a national legal writing competition and a GRAMMY® Week event. ELI fosters future careers in entertainment law by seeking out the nation’s top law students and giving them invaluable networking and educational opportunities. The ELI writing contest challenges students to identify, research, and write an essay with a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry. A nation panel of music law experts will judge the papers in a blind process to select a winner and a runner up. This contest is open to juris doctorate candidates currently enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school. The ELI event will be held on Friday, January 24, 2020 in Los Angeles and at this function the winner of the ELI Writing Competition will be recognized. This event also features recognition of a top music industry legal figure and serves as a key gathering of the industry’s legal and executive community during GRAMMY® Week. Further details and ticket information for this event will be announced soon. In the meantime, law students are encouraged to participate in the ELI Writing Competition to further their knowledge, better connect to the music and legal community and also to get a chance to attend the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards® in Los Angeles in 2020.

Prize Information:

WINNER WILL RECEIVE

  • $10,000 scholarship
  • Two tickets to and recognition onstage at the 22nd Annual ELI Event & Scholarship Presentation
  • Two tickets to the MusiCares® Person of the Year gala Jan. 24, 2020
  • Two tickets to the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards® on Jan. 26, 2020
  • Round-trip airfare to Los Angeles and hotel accommodations for two to attend these events

RUNNER-UP WILL RECEIVE

  • $2,500 scholarship

Notes:

Completed manuscripts and accompanying documents (to be defined below) must be submitted via email to eli_submissions@recordingacademy.com on or before January 2, 2020 at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST). Winners will be notified on or before January 13, 2020 by email, phone and/or express mail.

See the website HERE for full contest details.

2020 Human Rights Essay Award Competition
Human Rights Law$0 to $299January 2020

Competition Website: https://www.wcl.american.edu/impact/initiatives-programs/hracademy/award/

Sponsor: Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Deadline: January 31, 2020

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. Topic for 2020: Rule of Law and Human Rights: Strengthening Democratic Institutions

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

February 2020

The Roy Snell Health Care Regulatory & Compliance Writing Competition
Health Law$5000 or moreFebruary 2020

Competition Website: https://mitchellhamline.edu/health-law-institute/roy-snell-health-care-regulatory-and-compliance-writing-competition/

Sponsor: Health Law Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Deadline: February 1, 2020

Essay Topic: The Competition Problem (the “Problem”) is purely fictional and prepared solely for this educational purpose. The competition’s scope focuses on applicable “federal health care laws and regulations.” For purposes of your submissions, “federal health care laws and regulations” should be interpreted broadly and includes, but is not limited to, the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, False Claims Act, and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as well as other applicable statutes, regulations, and guidance pertaining to federal health care programs.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $5000 cash prize
Paid registration for the 2021 HCCA Annual Compliance Institute* (valued at over $1,500)
Up to $1500 in travel and conference-related expenses.

2nd Place: $3000 cash prize
Paid registration for the 2021 HCCA Annual Compliance Institute*
Up to $1500 in travel and conference-related expenses.

3rd Place: $1500 cash prize
Paid registration for the 2021 HCCA Annual Compliance Institute*
Up to $1500 in travel and conference-related expenses.

Notes: Full contest details can be found HERE.

Hon. William C. Conner Writing Competition
Intellectual Property$1500 to $1999February 2020

Competition Website: https://www.nyipla.org/nyipla/ConnerWritingAwards.asp

Sponsor: New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA)

Deadline: February 28, 2020

Essay Topic: The subject matter must be directed to one of the traditional subject areas of intellectual property, i.e., patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, unfair trade practices, antitrust, and data security/privacy issues.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $1,500

2nd Place: $1,000

Notes: See the contest flyer for full submission requirements HERE.

Trandafir International Business Writing Competition
Business Law$2000 to $2499February 2020

Competition Website: https://tlcp.law.uiowa.edu/trandafir-writing-competition

Sponsor: University of Iowa College of Law

Deadline: February 1, 2020

Essay Topic: Any contemporary international business or economic concern. Recent winning submissions have included such topics as recommendations the United States should follow to update its privacy laws to harmonize with international general data protection regulation commitments, why international labor organizations should adopt fair trade as an enforcement mechanism to end labor violations, and why the United States Treasury should wait for Congress to end corporate tax sheltering tactics.

Prize Information:

Prize $2500

The winning essay will be published in Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, a journal of the University of Iowa College of Law. TLCP reserves the right to work with the winner to edit the winning submission in order to meet the standards necessary for publication.

Notes: For rules and submission guidelines see HERE.

Family Law Writing Competition
Family Law$300 to $999February 2020

Competition Website: https://law.hofstra.edu/_site_support/files/pdf/currentstudents/studentactivities/journals/familycourtreview/hflwritingcompetition/hflwritingcompetition.pdf

Sponsor: The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Deadline: February 1, 2020

Essay Topic: The subject of entries may be within any area of family law, although topics that focus on international or interdisciplinary subjects of family law are especially encouraged. Articles should concentrate on a current legal issue and must have a strong foundation in legal research. Use of interdisciplinary sources may also be appropriate for many topics.

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $500

  • Certificate of recognition as the winner
  • Consideration for publication of the article in the Family Court Review
  • Letter to the dean of the student’s law school

Honorable Mention: $250

  • Certificate of recognition as the honorable ­‐ mention winner
  • Consideration for publication of the article in the Family Court Review
  • Letter to the dean of the student’s law school

Notes: For more information about the contest and submission guidelines go HERE.

The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law
Administrative Law$1500 to $1999February 2020

Competition Website: https://www.acslaw.org/get-involved/awards-and-competitions/the-richard-d-cudahy-writing-competition-on-regulatory-and-administrative-law/

Sponsor: American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Deadline: February 2, 2020

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.

Medes Hershman Student Writing Contest
Business Law$2500 to $2999February 2020

Competition Website: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/business_law/initiatives_awards/mendes_hershman.html

Sponsor: American Bar

Deadline: February 14, 2020

Essay Topic: Papers should be written on a business law topics and will be judged on research and analysis, choice of topic, writing style, originality, and contribution to the literature available on the topic.

Prize Information:

1st place: $1,000

Second Place and Third Place winners: eligibility to have their essays considered for publication in Business Law Today, the premier digital platform of curated, peer-reviewed content for the ABA Business Law Section.

Notes:

All entries must be received by Friday, February 14, 2020

For contest submission form go HERE.

American Indian Law Review Writing Competition
American Indian (Native American) Law$1000 to $1499February 2020

Competition Website: http://www.law.ou.edu/faculty-and-scholarship/journals/american-indian-law-review/writing-competition

Sponsor: American Indian Law Review

Deadline: February 28, 2020

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: Papers will be judged on the basis 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. All entries will be checked for plagiarism via an online service.

Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition
Constitutional Law$3000 to $3999February 2020

Competition Website: https://www.acslaw.org/get-involved/awards-and-competitions/constance-baker-motley-national-student-writing-competition/

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

Deadline: February 9, 2020

Essay Topic: Papers will be judged on their effective use, analysis, and expansion of legal scholarship. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, voting rights, civil liberties, freedom of speech, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration, labor, money in politics, racial equality, religious freedom, Second Amendment, the 2020 Census, or the roles of state attorney generals. The selection committee will include federal judges and leading academics. 

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 winning authors of the top 3 papers will be featured during the 2020 ACS National Convention and on ACS’s website and social media platforms. The 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.

Epstein Becker & Green - Health Law Writing Competition
Health Law$4000 to $4999February 2020

Competition Website: https://www.ebglaw.com/health-law-writing-competition/

Sponsor: Epstein Becker & Green

Deadline: February 28, 2020

Essay Topic: Epstein Becker Green is pleased to announce its 21st Annual Health Law Writing Competition. The competition is designed to encourage the preparation of scholarly papers on current topics of interest relating to health law. Entrants should take advantage of the fact that health law is a very broad and diverse field, encompassing aspects of almost every area of law. Papers may address any traditional area of the law as applied to health care (e.g., antitrust, tax, corporate) or areas of law unique to health care (e.g., fraud and abuse, managed care, Medicare/Medicaid, clinical trials).

Prize Information:

1st Place: $4,000

2nd Place: $2,000

3rd Place: $500

Entries in the top 20 percent will be considered for publication in the Annuals of Health Law, which is published by the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Notes:

Competition entries are due by January 25, 2019.

Questions? Please contact Wenxi Li in Epstein Becker Green's Washington D.C. office, at (202)861-0900 or ebgcompetition@ebglaw.com

For more information, contest rules, and instructions on submitting a paper go HEREhttps://www.ebglaw.com/health-law-writing-competition/.

The 2020 Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest
Professional Responsibility$5000 or moreFebruary 2020

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/lawyers_professional_liability/awards/overview/

Sponsor: The ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability

Deadline: February 21, 2020

Essay Topic: The 2020 Contest Essay Hypothetical involves diminished mental capacity of a trusts and estates attorney who is being sued for legal malpractice by the beneficiaries of an estate where said attorney served as Executor and the scope of permitted disclosure of the attorney-client by the legal malpractice defense attorney and insurance carrier.

Prize Information:

Winner Prize: $5,000

All-expense-paid trip to the Spring 2020 National Legal Malpractice Conference in New Orleans.

Notes:

The contest is open to law students and young lawyers who will have enrolled as members of the American Bar Association as of Feb. 21, 2020.

For full submission guidelines and rules go HERE.

March 2020

White River Environmental Law Writing Competition
Environmental/Land Use Law$1000 to $1499March 2020

Competition Website: http://vjel.vermontlaw.edu/writing-competition/

Sponsor: Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and Vermont Law School

Deadline: March 15, 2020

Essay Topic: Applicants are invited to submit original essays addressing any relevant topic in the fields of environmental law, natural resource law, energy law, environmental justice, land use law, animal law, and agricultural law.

Prize Information:

1st Prize $1,000

and an offer of publication with the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law.

Notes: Please include “Competition Submission” in the e-mail subject line. To ensure anonymity and impartiality in the judging of submissions, please include with your submission a cover page that includes your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, law school, and year of graduation. Do not include your name or any other personal information in any other part of your submission.

The Marshall Manne Schulman Competition for Student Papers in Criminal Law and/or Criminal Procedure
Criminal Procedure$1500 to $1999March 2020

Competition Website: http://criminallaw.calbar.ca.gov/CriminalLaw/StudentWritingCompetition.aspx

Sponsor: Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of California

Deadline: March 2, 2020

Essay Topic: The Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of California is seeking entries for The Marshall Manne Schulman Competition for Student Papers in Criminal Law and/or Criminal Procedure. This is a nationwide competition; while the focus is on California law, past winners have included students attending schools across the country. Deadline for submissions was midnight, March 2, 2020.

Prize Information:

1st Prize $1,500
The Grand Prize -winning paper will be published in the Criminal Law Journal, the official quarterly publication of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of California.
One-year student membership in the Criminal Law Section.

Honerable mention Prizes: $500
Each of the papers awarded Honorable Mention status may be published in the Criminal Law Journal, the official quarterly publication of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of California.
One-year student membership in the Criminal Law Section.

Notes:

To be eligible for consideration, the paper must be written solely by a student enrolled in law school at the time the author submits a paper to this Competition.

For submission guidelines go HERE.

ABI Bankruptcy Law Student Writing Competition
Bankruptcy Law$2000 to $2499March 2020

Competition Website: http://papers.abi.org/

Sponsor: The American Bankruptcy Institute ("ABI")

Deadline: March 13, 2020

Essay Topic: We invite papers on current issues regarding bankruptcy jurisdiction, bankruptcy litigation, or evidence in bankruptcy cases or proceedings. The paper may address business or consumer cases and may include matters such as bankruptcy sales, plan confirmation and other topics that involve jurisdiction, litigation or evidence in the bankruptcy courts.

Prize Information:

The First Place Winner, sponsored by Blank Rome, LLP, will receive a prize of $2,000, plus publication of his or her paper in the prestigious ABI Journal.

The Second Place Winner, sponsored by Wolcott Rivers Gates, will receive a cash prize of $1,250, plus publication of his or her paper in an ABI committee newsletter.

The Third Place Winner, sponsored by Jenner & Block, will receive a cash prize of $750, plus publication of his or her paper in an ABI committee newsletter.

Notes:

Papers must comply with the guidelines for submissions found at http://papers.abi.org/guidelines. Only one paper may be submitted per student.

For full submission guidelines and competition rules go HERE.

April 2020

Nappert Prize in International Arbitration
International Law$4000 to $4999April 2020

Competition Website: https://mcgill.ca/law/research/essay-contests/nappert-prize-international-arbitration

Sponsor: McGill University

Deadline: April 30, 2020

Essay Topic: must relate to commercial or investment arbitration; must be unpublished (not yet submitted for publication) as of April 30; must be a maximum of 15,000 words (including footnotes); must be written in English, French, or Spanish; should use OSCOLA or some other well-established legal citation guide (e.g. McGill Red Book; Bluebook); must be in MS Word format

Prize Information:

1st Place: $4,000 (canadian)

2nd Place: $2,000 (canadian)

3rd Place: $1,000 (canadian)

Winning one of the awards will carry with it the presentation of the paper at a symposium to be held at McGill University on October 20, 2020 (the expenses of the winners for attending the symposium will be covered). In addition, the best oralist will receive an award of $1,000 (canadian).

Notes:

To be eligible for the prize, authors must:

  • be enrolled in a BCL, LLB, JD, LLM, DCL, or PhD program (or their local equivalents); or
  • have taken their most recent law degree within the last three years; or
  • have been admitted to the practice of law for no more than three years.

Virginia State Bar Health Section Writing Contest
Health Law$1500 to $1999April 2020

Competition Website: http://www.vsb.org/site/sections/health/competition

Sponsor: Virginia State Bar Association Health Section

Deadline: April 15, 2020

Essay Topic: Articles must relate to a health law issue or the practice of health law.

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $1,500 and consideration for publication on the Health Law Section’s website and in Virginia Lawyer, the official publication of the VSB.

2nd Prize: $1,000

3rd Prize: $500

Notes:

See contest flyer HERE for full contest rules and submission guidelines.

There is no minimum length, but articles should not exceed 50 pages, including end-notes. Entries must include the student’s name, address, telephone number, law school, expected graduation date, and the following signed statement: “I declare that during the 2018-19 academic year, I was enrolled and in good standing (i) at a Virginia law school, or (ii) at a law school outside Virginia as a Virginia resident. I further declare that this entry was written solely by me while enrolled and in good standing in law school.” The student author’s inclusion of this statement in the transmittal email, together with his or her typed name between two forward slashes (i.e. /Jane M. Doe/) shall constitute a signature for the purpose of the signed statement requirement.

All entries must be sent by email to Sara Heisler at sheisler@vhha.com no later than April 15, 2020. The winner will be announced in May 2020.

2020 Paul Faherty Tax Writing Competition
Tax Law$3000 to $3999April 2020

Competition Website: https://www.jmls.edu/academics/taxeb/writing-competition.php

Sponsor: John Marshall Law School

Deadline: April 13, 2020

Essay Topic: The scope of permissible topics for the writing competition is broad—any aspect of tax law is acceptable. Students are encouraged to submit: a paper addressing: a public policy issue, a critique of a leading case or doctrine, a comment on a statute or the need for statutory modification, or a comment on a common law doctrine

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $3,000

Two (2) Honerable mention papers: $1,000 each

The winning paper will also be posted on the website of The John Marshall Law School Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits and excerpted in an upcoming issue of the Center's TaxEB InBrief magazine.

Notes:

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

(Dates on flyer are incorrect but contest IS running for 2020)

Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest
Family Law$1500 to $1999April 2020

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/family_law/awards-initiatives/essay_contest/

Sponsor: American Bar Association Section of Family Law

Deadline: April 10, 2020

Essay Topic: The subject may be any aspect of family law. The primary focus of each essay should be an issue of law, although some interdisciplinary material may be useful in addressing a legal issue. Family law includes dissolution of marriage and other intimate relationships, relationships of persons of the same sex, parentage, custody, child support, division of property, alimony (maintenance), attorney's fees, adoption, dependency, termination of parental rights, rights pertaining to procreation, and alternative dispute resolution of Family Law issues. Family Law generally does not include Juvenile Justice, Probate, Labor, Immigration Law, and sociology topics unless those topics are related to more traditional Family Law subjects. Since winning entries may be published in Family Law Quarterly, entrants are encouraged to write on subjects of national interest. Essays on such subjects usually include citations to the law of several jurisdictions. However, if the law in one state reflects a significant development or trend, that too could be an appropriate subject for an entry.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $1500

Certificate of Recognition as First-Place Winner
Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly
Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA Section of Family Law website
One-year complimentary ABA Section of Family Law membership

2nd Place: $750

Certificate of Recognition as Second-Place Winner
Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly
Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA Section of Family Law website
One-year complimentary ABA Section of Family Law membership

3rd Place: $350

Certificate of Recognition as Third-Place Winner
Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly
Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA Section of Family Law website

One-year complimentary ABA Section of Family Law membership

Notes:

For full contest criteria and submission guidelines vist the website HERE.

The breadth of originality and analysis of past winners is a great testament to the quality of our nation's law schools and educators. Past topics of winning essays include transsexuals and the legal determination of sex, same-sex marriages, federal responsibility for indigent elderly, interpretation of Islamic marriage contracts, the Indian Child Welfare Act, polygamy and marital counseling laws. We look forward to an outstanding pool of entries this year as we continue to marvel at the oustanding thought produced by future attorneys.

May 2020

The Georgetown Law Technology Review Writing Competition
Technology Law$4000 to $4999May 2020

Competition Website: https://www.georgetowntech.org/writingcompetition

Sponsor: Georgetown Law┬┐s Institute for Technology Law & Policy and The Georgetown Law Technology Review

Deadline: May 31, 2020

Essay Topic: Entrants are invited to submit papers exploring the ways in which emerging technologies and services interact with or challenge existing civil rights and consumer protection laws.  Suggested topics include: questions relating to the adequacy of existing laws, administrative structures and processes to protect consumers and civil rights; proposals for updating legal and administrative frameworks to increase their relevance for emerging technologies; questions relating to privacy, bias, discrimination, or disparate impact on marginalized communities; the potential for technology to improve access, equity and accountability in the justice system; or subject-matter-specific legal issues arising from various applications of a technology.  Preference will be given to papers that are relevant to current legal and public policy debates or present an original perspective.

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $4,000

2nd Prize: $2,500

3rd Prize: $1,000

Winning papers may be selected for publication in The Georgetown Law Technology Review.

Notes:

Papers must be submitted via email to TechInstitute@law. georgetown.edu in Word format with the file named in the format “LastName_FirstName_WritingCompetition”.

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

Chief Justice John B. Doolin Writing Competition
Native American Law$300 to $999May 2020

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

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

Deadline: May 1, 2020

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, 2019. 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.


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