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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

Modern Agricultural Issues Essay Contest

Competition Website: https://www.aglaw-assn.org/wp-content/uploads/AALA-Student-Paper-Writing-Competition.pdf

Sponsor: American Agricultural Law Association (AALA)

Deadline: October 14, 2019

Essay Topic: The entry must discuss any modern and relevant topic related to agricultural law.

Prize Information: Awards for the top winners include: (1) Cash prize; (2) Registration fee covered for AALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC; (3) Opportunity to address AALA Annual Conference Attendees at Awards Luncheon; (4) Article published in AALA Symposium Edition of the Drake Law Review; and (5) embroidered garment bag provided by the Waggoner Law Firm. The winner is strongly encouraged to attend the AALA Conference in Washington, DC, November 7-9, 2019.

Notes: Contest submission guidelines and rules HERE

Hon. William C. Conner Writing Competition

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.

IFA USA BRANCH WRITING COMPETITION

Competition Website: https://www.ifausa.org/page/awards_writing

Sponsor: The International Fiscal Association (USA Branch)

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Essay Topic: Any topic relating to U.S. taxation of income from international activities, including taxation under U.S. tax treaties.

Prize Information:

1st Prize $2,000

Notes:

Full rule guidelines and submission requirements can be found HERE.

Submissions MUST be sponsered by a faculty member.

BPLA Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://www.bpla.org/page/49

Sponsor: Boston Patent Law Association

Deadline: September 29, 2019

Essay Topic: BPLA is once again holding its annual Writing Competition. Law school students are encouraged to submit papers relating to intellectual property law. Judges will consider the merits of each paper based on: (i) contribution to the knowledge respecting intellectual property law; and (ii) the extent to which it displays original and creative thought or information not previously published or available.

Prize Information:

First Prize $1,000

Notes: Full contest information and submission requirements can be found HERE.

Browse All Contests

September 2019

IFA USA BRANCH WRITING COMPETITION
International Law$2000 to $2499September 2019

Competition Website: https://www.ifausa.org/page/awards_writing

Sponsor: The International Fiscal Association (USA Branch)

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Essay Topic: Any topic relating to U.S. taxation of income from international activities, including taxation under U.S. tax treaties.

Prize Information:

1st Prize $2,000

Notes:

Full rule guidelines and submission requirements can be found HERE.

Submissions MUST be sponsered by a faculty member.

BPLA Writing Competition
Intellectual Property$1000 to $1499September 2019

Competition Website: https://www.bpla.org/page/49

Sponsor: Boston Patent Law Association

Deadline: September 29, 2019

Essay Topic: BPLA is once again holding its annual Writing Competition. Law school students are encouraged to submit papers relating to intellectual property law. Judges will consider the merits of each paper based on: (i) contribution to the knowledge respecting intellectual property law; and (ii) the extent to which it displays original and creative thought or information not previously published or available.

Prize Information:

First Prize $1,000

Notes: Full contest information and submission requirements can be found HERE.

The NASA Space Law Network Writing Competition
Administrative Law$0 to $299September 2019

Competition Website: https://law.unl.edu/spacelawnetwork/workshop/

Sponsor: The University of Nebraska College of Law┬┐s Space, Cyber, and Telecom (SCT) Law Program

Deadline: September 1, 2019

Essay Topic: Papers should discuss a current issue in space law ranging from treaties and foreign space legislation, U.S. space legislation and the intersections of domestic space law and international law, arms control and the law of armed conflict in space, procurement and government contracting, ITAR and export control, contracting and transactional practice, to intellectual property, and/or other areas of law intersecting with space law.

Prize Information:

The selected paper author will receive airfare and hotel to attend the 2019 Nebraska Law Space Law Conference in Washington DC on Friday October 18, 2019 and have the opportunity to do a 10-15 minute presentation of their research. Their 2019 conference experience will include a NASA visit the day prior to the conference, a networking reception following the conference, and the option to extend the return airline ticket to accommodate attending the International Astronautical Congress the following week.

Notes: Please see the website HERE for more information.

National Law Review Law Student Writing Contest
Law & Society$0 to $299September 2019

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

Sponsor: The National Law Review

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Essay Topic: Suggested Topics:  ​Cybersecurity Issues - Major data breaches, EU Privacy Shield, Wearable Devices, Medical Devices Election 2016 Coverage Tax Issues Constitutional Issues - First Amendment, Gun Control Employment Issues - Ban the Box Laws, Minimum Wage, Transgender Accomodations, Age/Sex Discrimination

Prize Information:

The NLR Law Student Writing Competition offers law students the opportunity to submit articles for publication consideration on the NLR Web site.  No entry fee is required. Applicants can submit an unlimited number of entries each month.

  • Winning submissions will be published according to specified dates.

  • Entries will be judged and the top two to four articles chosen will be published on the NLR website.

  • Each winning article will be displayed accompanied by the student’s photo, biography, contact information, law school logo, and any copyright disclosure.

  • All winning articles will remain in the NLR database for two years (subject to earlier removal upon request of the law school).

Articles will be judged by NLR staff members on the basis of readability, clarity, organization, and timeliness. Tone should be authoritative, but not overly formal. Ideally, articles should be straightforward and practical, containing useful information of interest to legal and business professionals.

Notes: For full submission guidelines and requirements go HERE.

James E. Beckley Writing Competition
Securities Arbitration$1000 to $1499September 2019

Competition Website: https://piaba.org/2019-beckley-student-writing-competition-0

Sponsor: Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)

Deadline: September 20, 2019

Essay Topic: The submission may address any aspect of Securities Law; Securities Arbitration; The Federal Arbitration Act, Title 9, US Code, Section 1-14; or FINRA Code of Arbitration, effective April 16, 2007 and any changes or proposed changes to that Code. The writing can be based in theory or practice, but should ultimately advocate a position on the topic area chosen.

Prize Information:

Prize awards:

1st place: $1,000.00

2nd place: $750.00

3rd place: $500.00

Notes:

Eligibility: The competition is open to all students who attend a law school in the United States. Full-time students who are not law students but who write law-related papers as part of a course at an American law school are also eligible. Employees of The PIABA Foundation and PIABA (except for students working less than 20 hours per week) are not eligible to enter the competition.

For full contest information and submission guidelines go HERE.

October 2019

Modern Agricultural Issues Essay Contest
Administrative Law$0 to $299October 2019

Competition Website: https://www.aglaw-assn.org/wp-content/uploads/AALA-Student-Paper-Writing-Competition.pdf

Sponsor: American Agricultural Law Association (AALA)

Deadline: October 14, 2019

Essay Topic: The entry must discuss any modern and relevant topic related to agricultural law.

Prize Information: Awards for the top winners include: (1) Cash prize; (2) Registration fee covered for AALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC; (3) Opportunity to address AALA Annual Conference Attendees at Awards Luncheon; (4) Article published in AALA Symposium Edition of the Drake Law Review; and (5) embroidered garment bag provided by the Waggoner Law Firm. The winner is strongly encouraged to attend the AALA Conference in Washington, DC, November 7-9, 2019.

Notes: Contest submission guidelines and rules HERE

November 2019

Companion Animal Law Writing Contest
Animal Law$2500 to $2999November 2019

Competition Website: http://www.writeaboutanimallaw.com/

Sponsor: The American Kennel Club

Deadline: November 30, 2019

Essay Topic: • The subject of the paper submitted must be one of the following topics: 1. Several state legislatures have recently amended animal control and enforcement laws’ bond-for- care provisions. These laws require an owner to post security or provide a care bond to cover the cost of care for animals seized by animal control or other enforcement entities pursuant to certain criminal and civil law actions. Discuss hallmarks of current bond-for- care laws, including due process protections. Discuss any special variations states may have. Discuss what types of situations have recently given rise to lawsuits by those subject to bond-for- care requirements, and how they have or may be resolved? All points of view are welcome. OR 2. Fraudulent claims that a dog or other animal is a service or emotional support animal have led to denials of access to public spaces and some modes of transportation. Discuss the Animal Welfare Act, the Air Carrier Access Act, and any other laws that apply to emotional support animals. What types of situations would give rise to lawsuits over denial of access? What changes are recommended to curtail service and emotional support animal fraud, and what would be the consequences? What would be the net impact on animal welfare? All points of view are welcome. 

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $2,500

2nd Prize: $500

Notes: View complete contest flyer and submission information HERE.

December 2019

American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers Writing Competition
Consumer Financial Services Law$1000 to $1499December 2019

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

Sponsor: American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers

Deadline: December 1, 2019

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 annual dinner held in conjunction with the Spring meeting of the Business Law section of the ABA. 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, 2019, 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.

January 2020

Center for Alcohol Policy Annual Essay Contest
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Law$5000 or moreJanuary 2020

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

Sponsor: Center for Alcohol Policy

Deadline: January 17, 2020

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.

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.

February 2020

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.

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.

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.


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

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

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