Richmond Home

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

Dukeminier Student Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/dukeminierstudent-writing-competition/

Sponsor: The Williams Institute

Deadline: December 15, 2018

Essay Topic: Entry topics should focus on a cutting-edge legal issue affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender communities. Entries should not be previously published or scheduled for publication.  In addition, students who submit notes promise exclusive submission to the Dukeminier Student Writing Competition until January 15, 2019. This means that the submission should not be in consideration at other journals before this date. Prior topics include legal issues involving the intersection of sexual orientation and/or gender identity with the following themes: parenting, racial and ethnic identities, employment, youth, transgender issues, intersex issues, bisexual erasure, marriage, social movements, sports, international comparative law, administrative law, criminal law, constitutional law, and evidence law.

Prize Information:

1st place: $1,000

Notes: See the full contest announcement flyer HERE for rules and submission guidelines.

Virginia State Bar Health Section Writing Contest

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

Sponsor: Virginia State Bar Association Health Section

Deadline: April 26, 2019

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 26, 2019. The winner will be announced in May 2019.

CIPSC Law Student Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://www.unifiedpatents.com/2018-cipsc-contest-description/

Sponsor: Unified Patents & Sand Clara High Technology Law Journal

Deadline: October 1, 2018

Essay Topic: Artificial intelligence & machine learning solutions to legal issues Lawyers are required to make important decisions for their clients every day. Whether it is a complex issue regarding a multi-million dollar transaction or a routine matter concerning an employee agreement, these decisions require significant attorney time and resources. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies have the potential to help lawyers and their clients make these important decisions, streamline legal work, and reduce unnecessary transaction costs. Identify a specific legal problem facing intellectual property attorneys or the broader high-tech industry and explain how AI and machine learning technologies can be leveraged to solve that problem.

Prize Information:

1st Place - $1,500

2nd Place - $500

Notes: Full rules and submission guidelines HERE.

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

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

Sponsor: American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Deadline: February 3, 2019

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.

Browse All Contests

September 2018

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

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

Sponsor: The National Law Review

Deadline: September 30, 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.

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

CIPSC Law Student Writing Competition
Information Technology Law$0 to $299October 2018

Competition Website: https://www.unifiedpatents.com/2018-cipsc-contest-description/

Sponsor: Unified Patents & Sand Clara High Technology Law Journal

Deadline: October 1, 2018

Essay Topic: Artificial intelligence & machine learning solutions to legal issues Lawyers are required to make important decisions for their clients every day. Whether it is a complex issue regarding a multi-million dollar transaction or a routine matter concerning an employee agreement, these decisions require significant attorney time and resources. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies have the potential to help lawyers and their clients make these important decisions, streamline legal work, and reduce unnecessary transaction costs. Identify a specific legal problem facing intellectual property attorneys or the broader high-tech industry and explain how AI and machine learning technologies can be leveraged to solve that problem.

Prize Information:

1st Place - $1,500

2nd Place - $500

Notes: Full rules and submission guidelines HERE.

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.

December 2018

Dukeminier Student Writing Competition
Lesbian & Gay Law$1000 to $1499December 2018

Competition Website: https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/dukeminierstudent-writing-competition/

Sponsor: The Williams Institute

Deadline: December 15, 2018

Essay Topic: Entry topics should focus on a cutting-edge legal issue affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender communities. Entries should not be previously published or scheduled for publication.  In addition, students who submit notes promise exclusive submission to the Dukeminier Student Writing Competition until January 15, 2019. This means that the submission should not be in consideration at other journals before this date. Prior topics include legal issues involving the intersection of sexual orientation and/or gender identity with the following themes: parenting, racial and ethnic identities, employment, youth, transgender issues, intersex issues, bisexual erasure, marriage, social movements, sports, international comparative law, administrative law, criminal law, constitutional law, and evidence law.

Prize Information:

1st place: $1,000

Notes: See the full contest announcement flyer HERE for rules and submission guidelines.

American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers Writing Competition
Consumer Financial Services Law$1000 to $1499December 2018

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

Sponsor: American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers

Deadline: December 1, 2018

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

Prize Information:

Prize depends on particular work submitted.

(a) books - $5000
(b) publishable articles, book chapters, or substantial book reviews by a professional in the field - $3500,
(c) publishable student case notes, articles, or comments - $1500

The awards include cash payments and, respectively, a Certificate of Recognition from the College, and travel expenses to attend the Spring 2019 meeting of the College, scheduled to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia in late March 2019. In any given year, depending on submissions, awards may be made in all, some or no categories.

Notes:

The deadline for entry is December 1, 2018, and entries are eligible if they have been written or published within the twelve months preceding that date. Unpublished manuscripts should be double-spaced and conform to law review standards. All entries should be submitted in electronic format.

For more information go HERE.

Center for Alcohol Policy Annual Essay Contest
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Law$5000 or moreDecember 2018

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

Sponsor: Center for Alcohol Policy

Deadline: December 7, 2018

Essay Topic: The licensing of individuals and businesses that are involved in the commerce of alcoholic beverages is an important feature of state-based alcohol regulation. Why is licensing necessary for an orderly marketplace, what impact does it have on public health and safety and what are the benefits provided by licensing systems?

Prize Information:

First prize: $5000

Second prize: $2500

Third prize: $1000

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

Legal Blog Post Writing Contest
Legislation$1500 to $1999December 2018

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

Sponsor: The Expert Institute

Deadline: December 31, 2018

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

Prize Information:

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

2nd Place: Blog publication.

3rd Place: Blog publication.

Notes:

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

For full submission guidelines and instructions go HERE.

January 2019

Article I Initiative Writing Contest
Legislation$0 to $299January 2019

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

Sponsor: The Federalist Society

Deadline: January 7, 2019

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

Prize Information:

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

2nd Place: $2,500

2 Honorable mention: $1,000

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

Baxter Family Competition on Federalism
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.

February 2019

The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law
Administrative Law$1500 to $1999February 2019

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

Sponsor: American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Deadline: February 3, 2019

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.

April 2019

Virginia State Bar Health Section Writing Contest
Health Law$1500 to $1999April 2019

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

Sponsor: Virginia State Bar Association Health Section

Deadline: April 26, 2019

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 26, 2019. The winner will be announced in May 2019.


Feedback and Circumscription

The writing competition catalog is produced and maintained by Andrew Frank. The catalog is frequently updated. Students should bookmark this page and check back regularly or subscribe to the RSS feed .rss_image

We invite comments and suggestions for improving this catalog. When submitting essay announcements, please include the URL where essay contest information may be found.


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

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

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