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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

Public Contract Law Writing Contest

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_contract_law/awards/

Sponsor: American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law

Deadline: September 30, 2020

Essay Topic: Papers should address a topical issue of interest to the public contract and grant law community.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $2,000
2nd Place: $1,000
3rd Place: $500

Winning entries will be considered for publication in the Public Contract Law Journal, and selected competitors may be invited to present their papers during the ABA Section of Public Contract Law’s annual Federal Procurement Institute; however, publication and presentation decisions are made independent of the writing competition and there is no guarantee that a winning entry will be published or selected for presentation.

Notes:

The competition will be conducted in two divisions.
Each division will be judged separately, and separate prizes will be awarded to the winners of each division.
(a) Division I is open to (i) candidates for a J.D. degree attending law schools within the United States and its possessions as of Sept. 30, 2020 and (ii) recipients of a J.D. degree in 2020 from a law school within the United States and its possessions.
(b) Division II is open to (i) lawyers under the age of 36 years or admitted to practice less than five years as of September 30, 2016, (ii) LL.M candidates attending law schools within the United States and its possessions as of September 30, 2020, and (iii) LL.M graduates who attended law schools within the United States and its possessions and received their LL.M degree after September 30, 2019.
For full contect details and submission guidelines go HERE.

Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://nysba.org/awards-competitions/international-section-albert-s-pergam-international-law-writing-competition-award/

Sponsor: NY Bar Association: International Section

Deadline: November 6, 2020

Essay Topic: Law Students (including J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. and S.J.D. candidates) are cordially invited to submit to the International Section an article concerning any area of public or private international law or practice.

Prize Information: Winner: $2,000 and Publication of the article (subject to editorial approval) in the New York International Law Review

Notes: Full details and submission guidelines can be found HERE.

VA Bar Intellectual Property Law Student Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://www.vsb.org/site/sections/intellectualproperty/writing-competition

Sponsor: Virginia State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section

Deadline: May 31, 2021

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.

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.

Program on Church, State & Society Announces Student Writing Competition

Competition Website: https://churchstate.nd.edu/news-events/news/program-on-church-state-society-announces-student-writing-competition/

Sponsor: The Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Essay Topic: The purpose of this writing competition is to encourage scholarship related to the intersection of church, state & society, and in particular how the law structures and governs that intersection. Papers should be focused, broadly, on topics related to church,state & society. For guidance on selecting a topic, students may wish to view ourProgram website and mission statement: https://churchstate.nd.edu/

Prize Information:

1st Place: $4,000

2nd Place: $3,000

3rd Place: $2,000

Honerable Mention: $1,000

Notes: Full contest information and submition guidelines can be found HERE.

Browse All Contests

September 2020

Criminal Record Policy Essay Competition and Scholarship
Criminal Procedure$2000 to $2499September 2020

Competition Website: https://www.recordgone.com/law-student-expungement-competition-3rd-annual.htm

Sponsor: Higbee & Associates

Deadline: September 30, 2020

Essay Topic: Choose One: How to improve expungement related laws in (state of your choice) When, if ever, should government stop reporting criminal records to the public? What effects do criminal records have on former offenders' ability to re-assimilate?

Prize Information:

First Place: $2,000
Second Place: $1,000
Third Place: $300
Honorable Mention: $200

Notes:

IFA USA BRANCH WRITING COMPETITION
International Law$2000 to $2499September 2020

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

Sponsor: The International Fiscal Association (USA Branch)

Deadline: September 30, 2020

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 2020

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

Sponsor: Boston Patent Law Association

Deadline: September 30, 2020

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.

Public Contract Law Writing Contest
Contract Law$2000 to $2499September 2020

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_contract_law/awards/

Sponsor: American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law

Deadline: September 30, 2020

Essay Topic: Papers should address a topical issue of interest to the public contract and grant law community.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $2,000
2nd Place: $1,000
3rd Place: $500

Winning entries will be considered for publication in the Public Contract Law Journal, and selected competitors may be invited to present their papers during the ABA Section of Public Contract Law’s annual Federal Procurement Institute; however, publication and presentation decisions are made independent of the writing competition and there is no guarantee that a winning entry will be published or selected for presentation.

Notes:

The competition will be conducted in two divisions.
Each division will be judged separately, and separate prizes will be awarded to the winners of each division.
(a) Division I is open to (i) candidates for a J.D. degree attending law schools within the United States and its possessions as of Sept. 30, 2020 and (ii) recipients of a J.D. degree in 2020 from a law school within the United States and its possessions.
(b) Division II is open to (i) lawyers under the age of 36 years or admitted to practice less than five years as of September 30, 2016, (ii) LL.M candidates attending law schools within the United States and its possessions as of September 30, 2020, and (iii) LL.M graduates who attended law schools within the United States and its possessions and received their LL.M degree after September 30, 2019.
For full contect details and submission guidelines go HERE.

James E. Beckley Writing Competition
Securities Arbitration$1000 to $1499September 2020

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

Sponsor: Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)

Deadline: September 18, 2020

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 2020

Marshall-Wythe Environmental Law Writing Competition
Environmental/Land Use Law$0 to $299October 2020

Competition Website: http://www.wmelpr.com/marshall-wythe-environmental-law-writing-competition/

Sponsor: William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review

Deadline: October 1, 2020

Essay Topic: Applicants may submit essays addressing any relevant topics in environmental law and policy. To see examples of previous papers that have been selected for publication in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, please refer to our Published Articles page.

Prize Information:

The winning essay will receive the opportunity to publish with the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. At the discretion of the reviewing editors, additional submissions may also receive offers of publication.

Notes: Please email submissions in PDF format to ee.wm.elpr@gmail.com

November 2020

Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition
International Law$2000 to $2499November 2020

Competition Website: https://nysba.org/awards-competitions/international-section-albert-s-pergam-international-law-writing-competition-award/

Sponsor: NY Bar Association: International Section

Deadline: November 6, 2020

Essay Topic: Law Students (including J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. and S.J.D. candidates) are cordially invited to submit to the International Section an article concerning any area of public or private international law or practice.

Prize Information: Winner: $2,000 and Publication of the article (subject to editorial approval) in the New York International Law Review

Notes: Full details and submission guidelines can be found HERE.

December 2020

American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers Writing Competition
Consumer Financial Services Law$1000 to $1499December 2020

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

Sponsor: American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers

Deadline: December 1, 2020

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 2021

Center for Alcohol Policy Annual Essay Contest
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Law$5000 or moreJanuary 2021

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

Sponsor: Center for Alcohol Policy

Deadline: January 8, 2021

Essay Topic: Prohibition of alcohol was tried in 1920 but ultimately rejected by the United States.  Similarly, pure laissez-faire treatment of alcohol and the industry that profits from it has not been the policy of the federal or state governments. As the nation seeks the proper public health balance in response to Covid-19, can this nation’s alcohol history help shape and inform government health policies related to dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Prize Information:

First prize: $5000

Second prize: $2500

Third prize: $1000

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

February 2021

Program on Church, State & Society Announces Student Writing Competition
Civil and Religious Freedoms$4000 to $4999February 2021

Competition Website: https://churchstate.nd.edu/news-events/news/program-on-church-state-society-announces-student-writing-competition/

Sponsor: The Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Essay Topic: The purpose of this writing competition is to encourage scholarship related to the intersection of church, state & society, and in particular how the law structures and governs that intersection. Papers should be focused, broadly, on topics related to church,state & society. For guidance on selecting a topic, students may wish to view ourProgram website and mission statement: https://churchstate.nd.edu/

Prize Information:

1st Place: $4,000

2nd Place: $3,000

3rd Place: $2,000

Honerable Mention: $1,000

Notes: Full contest information and submition guidelines can be found HERE.

Family Law Writing Competition
Family Law$300 to $999February 2021

Competition Website: https://law.hofstra.edu/currentstudents/studentactivities/journals/familycourtreview/hflwritingcompetition/index.html

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

Deadline: February 1, 2021

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.

Baxter Family Competition on Federalism
Constitutional Law$5000 or moreFebruary 2021

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: February 1, 2021

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.

2021 Human Rights Essay Award Competition
Human Rights Law$0 to $299February 2021

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

Sponsor: Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Deadline: February 1, 2021

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 2021: Human Rights and States of Emergency: Unexpected Crisis and New Challenges

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

May 2021

VA Bar Intellectual Property Law Student Writing Competition
Intellectual Property$5000 or moreMay 2021

Competition Website: https://www.vsb.org/site/sections/intellectualproperty/writing-competition

Sponsor: Virginia State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section

Deadline: May 31, 2021

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.

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.


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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.