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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

Freedom from Religion Foundation Essay Contest for Law Students

Competition Website: https://ffrf.org/outreach/ffrf-student-scholarship-essay-contests#E

Sponsor: Freedom from Religion Foundation

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Essay Topic: State legislatures across the country are considering or enacting a slew of “religious exemption” or “religious refusal” bills. Such bills, often misleadingly described as “conscience clauses,” may allow providers (parents, companies, landlords, health care workers, shopkeepers, etc.) to refuse services based on the provider’s personal religious beliefs. For instance, about 10 states have passed bills permitting religious child placement agencies to refuse to work with LGBTQ couples or children. Some states exempt health care workers or pharmacists on the basis of religion from providing contraceptive services; others allow government employees who solemnize marriages to refuse to do so for same-sex couples, etc.Pick a religious refusal bill, in any state, under consideration or enacted in the current legislative session and evaluate whether the bill strikes an appropriate balance between the religious rights of service providers and the civil and equal protection rights of members of the public most likely to be refused services. Include some analysis of what’s wrong generally with any "religious exemption or refusal" proposal.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $4,000

2nd Place: $3,000

3rd place: $2,000

4th place: $1,000

5th place: $750

6th place: $500

Notes: Full information on submission requirements and other information can be found 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.

Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize

Competition Website: Chicago-Kent College of Law

Sponsor: Competition Sponsor

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Essay Topic: The Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize was established in spring 2007 by alumnus Roy C. Palmer '62 and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, to honor a work of scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society.

Prize Information:

First Prize $10,000

Notes: See the website and flyer HERE for more information.

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July 2019

Freedom from Religion Foundation Essay Contest for Law Students
Law & Society$4000 to $4999July 2019

Competition Website: https://ffrf.org/outreach/ffrf-student-scholarship-essay-contests#E

Sponsor: Freedom from Religion Foundation

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Essay Topic: State legislatures across the country are considering or enacting a slew of “religious exemption” or “religious refusal” bills. Such bills, often misleadingly described as “conscience clauses,” may allow providers (parents, companies, landlords, health care workers, shopkeepers, etc.) to refuse services based on the provider’s personal religious beliefs. For instance, about 10 states have passed bills permitting religious child placement agencies to refuse to work with LGBTQ couples or children. Some states exempt health care workers or pharmacists on the basis of religion from providing contraceptive services; others allow government employees who solemnize marriages to refuse to do so for same-sex couples, etc.Pick a religious refusal bill, in any state, under consideration or enacted in the current legislative session and evaluate whether the bill strikes an appropriate balance between the religious rights of service providers and the civil and equal protection rights of members of the public most likely to be refused services. Include some analysis of what’s wrong generally with any "religious exemption or refusal" proposal.

Prize Information:

1st Place: $4,000

2nd Place: $3,000

3rd place: $2,000

4th place: $1,000

5th place: $750

6th place: $500

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

Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize
Civil Liberties$5000 or moreJuly 2019

Competition Website: Chicago-Kent College of Law

Sponsor: Competition Sponsor

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Essay Topic: The Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize was established in spring 2007 by alumnus Roy C. Palmer '62 and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, to honor a work of scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society.

Prize Information:

First Prize $10,000

Notes: See the website and flyer HERE for more information.

Eisenberg Prize
Appellate Practice and Procedure$2000 to $2499July 2019

Competition Website: https://www.appellateacademy.org/about/eisenberg_prize.cfm

Sponsor: The American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (AAAL)

Deadline: July 19, 2019

Essay Topic: The American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (AAAL) created the Eisenberg Prize to recognize the publication of high-quality articles in the field of appellate practice and procedure To be considered for the Eisenberg Prize, articles must have been published in a law school journal between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018. Submit entries via email at aaal@appellateacademy.org no later than Friday, July 19, 2019.

Prize Information:

First Prize: $2,000

Notes: See the website HERE for more information.

William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition
Criminal Procedure$2500 to $2999July 2019

Competition Website: https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/criminal_justice_magazine/greenhalgh_2019.pdf

Sponsor: Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Essay Topic: TOPIC: The Use of Drones by Law Enforcement—How should drones enhance public safety, how should drones be regulated, and what role does the Fourth Amendment play? For example, drones could assist police with pursuits of armed individuals or help find missing people. On the other hand, drones can peer into people’s windows in the upper floors of a high rise. Drones can carry many different devices – high resolution cameras, sensitive microphones, weapons, GPS trackers. Is this comparable to or different from these devices being in a police car? Clear, persuasive and original analytical reasoning that is well-supported with concrete examples and references are essential and will weigh heavily in the determination of the contest winner.

Prize Information:

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

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

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

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

Sponsor: The National Law Review

Deadline: July 31, 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.

Admiral John S. Jenkins Prize for Excellence in Military Studies
Military Law$0 to $299July 2019

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

Sponsor: National Institute for Military Justice (NIMJ)

Deadline: July 31, 2019

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

Prize Information:

First Prize $250

Notes:

Students may nominate their own work, including work that has been published in a law journal; faculty may also nominate deserving student papers. Papers and/or published articles are eligible for this award if they were written by a candidate for a J.D. degree (that is, by a student who has not yet completed his or her degree) in academic year 2018-19.

Interested students or recommending faculty should submit the paper, along with the author¹s name, phone and email, and any publication information on the paper, to NIMJ at http://dev.nimj.org/contact-us/ no later than 31 July 2019.

Tannenwald Writing Competition
Tax Law$5000 or moreJuly 2019

Competition Website: https://www.tannenwald.org/2019-Competition-Announcement

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

Deadline: July 8, 2019

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

Prize Information:

1st Prize: $5,000

2nd Prize: $2,500

3rd Prize: $1,500

Notes:

Official rules HERE.

Deadline for submitted papers: 9:00 p.m. EDT, July 8, 2019.

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

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

American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize
Legal Ethics$5000 or moreJuly 2019

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

Sponsor: American Inns of Court

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Essay Topic: Authors should address one or more aspects of excellence in legal skills, civility, ethics or professionalism within the legal profession. The selected issue(s) should be of contemporary significance with clear relevance to the legal community at large.

Prize Information:

Winning Prize: $5,000

The winning essay will be published in the South Carolina Law Review

Notes:

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

The winning essay will be announced on or before August 31.

George Hutchinson Writing Competition
The Judiciary$3000 to $3999July 2019

Competition Website: https://fedcirbar.org/Pro-Bono-Scholarships/Scholarships/Rules

Sponsor: Federal Circuit Bar Association

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Essay Topic: Papers must deal with a topic that lies within the substance, procedure, or scope of the specialized jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Prize Information:

Prize: $3,000

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

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

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

Notes:

Students enrolled for the 2018/2019 school year in any law school accredited by the American Bar Association are eligible to enter.  Pre-registration is not necessary.  Submission of a paper in accordance with these rules constitutes registration.
Submission of a paper grants the FCBA the right to consider publication of the paper in the Federal Circuit Bar Journal.  Previously published submissions will not be accepted.  The FCBA reserves the right to publish the paper first, at which point the author may proceed with publication elsewhere.  Failure of the student to preserve this grant may result in disqualification.

George Jay Joseph Education Law Writing Award
Education Law$0 to $299July 2019

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

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

Deadline: July 1, 2019

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

Prize Information:

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

Notes:

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

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

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

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

Length: between 35 and 55 pages including footnotes.

For submission guidelines go HERE

2019 Animal Law Student Writing Competition
Animal Law$1000 to $1499July 2019

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

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

Deadline: July 12, 2019

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

Prize Information:

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

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

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

August 2019

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

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

Sponsor: Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)

Deadline: August 31, 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.

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.

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.


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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.

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.