Writing Competitions

 If you want more information about a competition on this listing or want to add a competition to the listing, contact Valerie Aggerbeck at vraggerbeck@stthomas.edu.


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2017 James E. Beckley Securities Arbitration and Law Competition
Deadline: September 8, 2017.
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.
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: The first place includes a $1,000 cash prize; second place receives a $750 cash award; the third place includes a $500 monetary award. The PIABA Bar Journal board-of-editors publishes the first place paper. and may print additional submissions. The first place winner is invited to accept the James E. Beckley Writing Competition in-person during the President’s Dinner at the PIABA Annual Meeting on October 20, 2017. 2nd - 3rd places, and Honorable Mention(s) are announced at that time as well.
Length: Submissions should be on one of the topics listed above.  The text of a submission must be double-spaced, with twelve-point font and one-inch margins. Any Question(s) Presented section, the Statement of the Facts / Statement of the Law section, the Argument section, and/or the Conclusion together are a minimum of 15 pages and a maximum of 30 pages. If the submission covers both a topic among those listed above and a topic not listed above, only the topic listed above will be evaluated.  Submissions will not be penalized for arguing a position that would limit investor rights rather than expand them. The submission form may be found at Competition Submission Form
Sponsor: PIABA Foundation



Second Annual WCL National Health Law Writing Competition                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Deadline: November 30, 2016.
Eligibility: Only current (academic school year 2016-2017) 2L, 3L, and 4L (part-time) JD and LLM students enrolled in a U.S. law school are eligible for this Writing Competition. 
Topic: Papers must address an issue or issues related to health law.
Prize: Two cash prizes will be awarded, sponsored by WCL alumna, Corrine Propas Parver: First Place -- $1000; Second Place -- $500. The judges reserve the right to not award First and Second place prizes if not merited by the papers submitted.
Length: Length of a minimum of 25 and maximum of 30 pages, inclusive of single-spaced footnotes.
SponsorAmerican University Washington College of Law



American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers Writing Competition
Deadline: December 1, 2016.
Eligibility: J.D. Students. 
Topic: Eligible entries will address a topic on consumer financial services, but not securities regulation, insurance, or the safety-and-soundness aspects of banking regulation. Works on subjects within these (or other) areas, however, will be considered if they bear directly on consumer financial services.
Prize: The awards include a cash payment ($2,500 for books, $2,000 for articles, reviews, or book chapters; and $1,000 for student work), a certificate or other token of recognition, and travel expenses to attend the College's annual dinner held in conjunction with the Spring Meeting of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.
Length: N/A
SponsorAmerican College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers

Center for Alcohol Policy Annual Essay Contest
Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Eligibility: The contest is open to all persons who are over the age of 18 as of December 2017. Students, academics, practicing attorneys, policymakers and members of the general public are encouraged to submit essays
Topic: The Supreme Court has recognized "temperance" as a permissible goal of state alcohol regulation. Define temperance as it would apply in today's alcohol marketplace. Is it still relevant today? Should temperance still be recognized as a permissible goal of alcohol regulation?
Prize: Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in the amounts of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 respectively.
Length: N/A 
SponsorCenter for Alcohol Policy

The Expert Institute's Annual Legal Writing Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Eligibility: J.D. Students. 
Topic: Any topic in litigation involving expert witnesses.
Prize: The award will consist of one (1) scholarship with a $2,000 dollar award (students must be actively pursuing a J.D. or LLM degree in order to qualify), blog publication, newsletter circulation, and email announcement. The second and third place awards are blog publication.
Length: Articles must be 1,500 – 2,500 words in length, and written in a blog post format. Specific case references are required, and the article must contain specific examples. Citations should be inline – no footnotes or endnotes. Links to electronic sources are encouraged. Articles must be submitted through the online form.
SponsorThe Expert Institute



The 19th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition
Deadline: January 1, 2017.
Eligibility: This contest is open to juris doctorate candidates currently enrolled at an ABA accredited law school. LLM and any other advanced degree candidates are not eligible. 
Topic: Entrants must identify research and write an essay with a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry.
Prize: Awards will be distributed as follows: $5,000 for first place and $1,500 for each of four runners-up. All five finalists receive one GRAMMY Awards ticket, hotel accommodations, round trip airfare, one ticket to the Entertainment Law Initiative Luncheon, one ticket to MusiCares® Person of the Year dinner, and an invitation to the GRAMMY Nominee Reception.
Length: Manuscripts shall be no longer than 3,000 words not including endnotes/footnotes. Entrants must use The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, for citation style.
SponsorGRAMMY Foundation

2017 Mollie and Paul Hill Student Writing Competition in Medical-Legal Interprofessional Collaboration
Deadline: January 4, 2017.
Eligibility: All authors must be enrolled, at the time of paper submission, in an accredited law school or medical school (M.D. or D.O.) or participating in an accredited medical residency program in the United States
TopicThere is a consensus that the U.S. health care system is frequently characterized by the excessive and unnecessary provision of medical services. One of the impediments to rationalizing medical practice to reduce tests, procedures, and treatments that are not clinically indicated and appropriate for particular patients is the perception by practicing health care professionals that the prevalent and often overused tests, procedures, and treatments are compelled by the current American legal system, and that health care professionals’ efforts to reduce the current waste and inefficiency will result in their expanded exposure to malpractice litigation and liability. Discuss the ways in which the medical and legal professions may work together collaboratively to address the problem of excessive, unnecessary, wasteful, and inefficient provision of medical services in the U.S.
PrizeOutstanding Paper by a Law Student — $250.
Length: The length of the paper must be between 1,200 and 5,000 words. The word count applies to the total paper, including title page, body, footnotes, figures, and tables (if any).
Sponsor Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law

Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition
Deadline: January 6, 2017.
Eligibility: All full-time and part-time law students currently seeking a juris doctor (J.D.) or a master of laws (LL.M.) at an accredited law school are eligible to enter the competition. 
Topic: Students may submit any original paper concerning federal taxation.
Prize: First place: $2000. Second place: $1000.
Length: Papers must be a minimum of twenty pages and a maximum of fifty pages (double spaced, twelve-point Times New Roamn font, one-inch margins) including endnotes (which may be singled-spaced). 
SponsorFederal Bar Association

Pacific Legal Foundation Law Student Writing Competition
Deadline: January 13, 2017.
Eligibility: Submissions must be original works of publishable quality written by a student currently enrolled full- or part-time in a law school in the United States
Topic: Entries must address one of PLF’s topic questions to be eligible for prizes. See website for details.
Prize: The first place winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize. The second place winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize and the third place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize. The winner will also be recognized at the Annual Pacific Legal Foundation Gala. PLF will pay for the winner’s reasonable travel costs to attend the gala and will assist with travel arrangements.
LengthThere is no page limit for entries, although a word count of 3,000 to 5,000 words is suggested.
SponsorPacific Legal Foundation

College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers 2016 Law Student Writing Competition
Deadline: January 15, 2017.
Eligibility: All students currently enrolled in accredited law schools in the United States and all those recently graduated from them (graduation in 2016). 
Topic: The scope of permissible topics is broad, i.e., any aspect of workers’ compensation law. Students are encouraged to present: a public policy issue; a critique of a leading case or doctrine; or a comment on a statute or the need for a statutory modification.
Prize: First prize - $2,000, (An additional $1,000 to winner’s law school scholarship fund). Second prize - $1,500. Third prize - $1,000.
Length: Entries should be between 10 and 20 pages in length (including bottom of page footnotes).
SponsorCollege of Workers' Compensation Lawyers

American Indian Law Review Writing Competition
Deadline: January 31, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to students enrolled in J.D. or graduate law programs at accredited law schools in the United States and Canada. 
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: The first place winner receives $1,000 and publication in the American Indian Law Review, an official periodical of the University of Oklahoma College of Law with international distribution.  The second place winner receives $500, and third place receives $250.  Each of the three winning authors will also be awarded an eBook copy 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.
Length: Entries must be a minimum of 20 double-spaced pages in length and a maximum of 50 double-spaced pages in length excluding footnotes or endnotes.  All citations should conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed.).
SponsorAmerican Indian Law Review



Human Rights Essay Award
Deadline: February 1, 2017.
Eligibility: Candidates must hold a law degree and have demonstrated experience or interest in international human rights law. 
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.
PrizeThe 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 1) full scholarship* to the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance options 2) Travel expenses to and from Washington DC 3) Housing at the university dorms 4) Per diem for living expenses. 
Length: Articles must not exceed 35 pages in length, including footnotes.
SponsorAmerican University Washington College of Law Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law
Deadline: February 5, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to all lawyers and law students. Practicing lawyers, policymakers, academics, and law students all are encouraged to participate. Coauthored submissions are eligible and if selected, the coauthors will share the prize
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: The author of the winning paper in each category (lawyer and law student) will receive a cash prize of $1,500.
Length: Submissions should be less than 25,000 words, not including footnotes. Shorter submissions are strongly encouraged.
SponsorAmerican Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Elliot A. Spoon Business Law Writing Competition
Deadline: February 5, 2017.
Eligibility: Current law students at ABA-accredited law schools. 
Topic: A business of securities law article in law review format.
Prize: $500 and publication in the Journal of Business & Securities Law.
Length: N/A
SponsorJournal of Business & Securities Law

Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition
Deadline: February 12, 2017.
Eligibility: Any full-time or part-time law student currently enrolled in a J.D., LL.M. or S.J.D. program at a United States law school is eligible to participate. Only one entry per student is permitted. Multiple submissions will result in disqualification. All entrants must be a student member of the national American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. 
Topic: Entrants are encouraged to view this topic broadly, and we welcome submissions on a variety of substantive areas. Examples of possible topics include: access to the courts, civil liberties, consumer rights, disability rights, freedom of speech, GLBT rights, human rights, immigration, labor law, money in judicial elections, voting and the political process, privacy, protection of health, safety, the environment, racial equality, religion, second amendment and guns, separation of powers and federalism, and women’s reproductive rights and reproductive freedom.
Prize: The author of the top submission will receive $3,000 and be eligible for publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. The authors of the two runner-up submissions will each receive $1,000. ACS will post winning submissions on its website. In addition, the three winning authors will be recognized at the 2017 ACS National Convention in mid-June.
Length: The length must be between 25 and 50 pages, including footnotes. The text of the paper must be in double-spaced 12-point Courier font with 1-inch margins. Footnotes may be in single-spaced 10-point font.
SponsorAmerican Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Louis Jackson National Student Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law
Deadline: February 28, 2017.
Eligibility: Open to all students who have completed or are currently taking courses in employment or labor law, and are enrolled in an accredited law school during the Fall 2016 semester. 
Topic: Papers should discuss any topic relating to the law governing the workplace, such as employment law, labor law, employee benefits, or employment discrimination.
Prize: One top honors award of $3,000 and two $1,000 awards will be presented to the top three entries. In addition to the cash awards, the top three entries will be published on the Institute for Law and the Workplace website.
Length: Papers must not exceed 35 pages in length, including footnotes, set in 12 point Times Roman font, footnotes in 10 points, with double spacing and one inch margins. Citations must conform to current Bluebook style. Entries must be suitable for publication in a law review.
SponsorJackson Lewis LLP & ITT Chicago Kent College of Law 



Brogdon Champion Law School Essay Contest
Deadline: March 1, 2017.
Eligibility: The essay contest is open to any law student enrolled at a law school in the United States. 
Topic: The topics for the essay contest can be any ethical issue that arises in the context of representing plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Prize: The first place winner will receive $2,500 and publication on our firm’s website. The second place winner will receive $1,000.
Length: The essay should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words. 
SponsorBorogdon Champion, LLC

Affordable Housing & Community Development Law Writing Competition
Deadline: March 3, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to all law student who are (a) enrolled at a an ABA-accredited law school, (b) members of the ABA and the Forum, (c) at least 18 years old, and (d) U.S. citizens.
Topic: Entries should address any legal issue regarding affordable housing and/or community development law.
Prize: A single winning entry, as judged by the selection committee, will be eligible to receive a prize of (a) a $1,000 cash prize and (b) up to $2,500 reimbursement for hotel and transportation expenses to attend the Forum's Annual Conference occurring on May 24-26, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
Length: The essay should be between 25-50 double-spaced pages, with 1 inch margins, in Times New Roman, 12 pt. size font. Articles should include footnotes in Bluebook format (single spaced in Times New Roman, 10 pt. size font and which shall count towards the word limit). Entries must be original, unpublished work. Any relevant article or essay may be submitted for the competition, including writing submitted for academic credit. Submissions must not have been previously published in any media. Articles should be submitted in Word format.
SponsorForum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law of the American Bar Association

Mendrzycki Essay Contest
Deadline: March 3, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to Young Lawyers Division or Law Student Division members of the ABA, in good standing as of March 3, 2017 according to the membership records of the Association.
Topic: The 2017 Contest Essay Hypothetical involves the ethical concerns arising under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct where a law firm seeks to affiliate itself with litigation funding companies, including undertaking representation of one such company and, in turn, recommending its services to the firm’s clients.
Prize: Cash award of $5,000 and all-expense-paid trip to the Spring 2017 National Legal Malpractice Conference in Boston, MA, April 19-21, 2017.
Length: Entries should be written as scholarly essays and should not exceed 3,000 words, including quoted matter and citations. Footnotes are not permitted and citations should be incorporated into the main text. The essay should be typewritten, double-spaced on 8 1/2" x 11" pages. The number of words on each page should be entered on the bottom right hand corner of each copy. The total number of words should be entered on the last page. In computing the number of words, all articles and prepositions should be counted. Count numbers and abbreviations as words. For example F.2d = 1 word; 746 F.2d 619 = 3 words.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sponsor: ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability and Long & Levit, LLP



Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Competition 
Deadline: April 28, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to all current law students and all masters of law students.
Topic: Essay submissions are sought on the topic: “What Does the Trump Presidency Mean for Access to Justice?"
Prize: The winner will receive $5,000 and a complementary one-year Public Citizen membership.
Length: Submissions must be emailed as Microsoft Word documents. They may be full-length law review articles or shorter academic essays. The word count may be between 6,000 and 25,000 words, not including footnotes. Essays should use footnotes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sponsor: R. Ben Hogan III of Hogan Law Office, PC, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Gerson H. Smoger of Smoger & Associates in Dallas, Texas, and Oakland, California

Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition 
Deadline: April 30, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to all law students at U.S. and Canadian law schools.
Topic: Entries should concern any issue within the general category of legal ethics.
Prize: The winner will receive $2,500.
Length: Entries must not exceed 50 pages, including notes, and must be double-spaced and standard font.                                                                                                                                                                             Sponsor: Notre Dame Law School

AAJ Class Action Litigation Group Law Student Writing Competition - See more at: https://www.justice.org/node/233874#sthash.IEZymCxg.dpuf
AAJ Class Action Litigation Group Law Student Writing Competition - See more at: https://www.justice.org/node/233874#sthash.IEZymCxg.dpuf
AAJ Class Action Litigation Group Law Student Writing Competition - See more at: https://www.justice.org/node/233874#sthash.IEZymCxg.dpuf

American Association for Justice Class Action Litigation Group Writing Competition                                                                                                                                                                                                Deadline: April 30, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to students enrolled at any law school during the 2016-2017 academic year. Papers must be the student’s original work and must not have been submitted for publication elsewhere. Papers may have been submitted for a grade at the student’s law school and may incorporate feedback that was part of a course requirement or supervised research project.
Topic: Entries sould concern any topic associated with class action jurisprudence on the state or federal level. Papers may focus on legal analysis, policy, normative considerations, procedural concerns, or any other subject associated with the law of class actions.
Prize: The winning submission will be published in Advance (https://www.acslaw.org/publications/advance), an annual digital compendium of the American Constitution Society. The student authors of the top three papers will receive recognition in the CALG Summer Convention Newsletter. In addition, CALG will award cash prizes of $2,000 to the first place submission, $1,000 to the second-place submission, and $500 to the third-place submission. The winning author will also be profiled in the fall issue of Trial magazine, AAJ’s award-winning magazine for attorneys, law professors, judges, and others in the legal community.
Length: Entries must be submitted on 8 ½ by 11 inch paper, double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. The document margins must be one inch and all pages must be numbered. All citations must be in footnotes, which should be single-spaced in 10-point Times New Roman font and in Bluebook style. Submissions should not exceed 3,000 words.                                                                                                                              Sponsor: American Association for Justice




2017 Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition
Deadline: May 1, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to students enrolled at any law school during the 2016-17 school year.
Topic: Entrants should submit a paper on an issue concerning women's rights or the status of women in the law.
Prize: The author of the winning essay will receive a cash prize of $500. NAWL will also publish the winning essay in the Women Lawyers Journal. 
Length: Essays must be double-spaced in 12-point, Times New Roman font. All margins must be one inch. Entries must not exceed 15 pages of text, excluding notes, with footnotes placed as endnotes. Citation style should conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Essays longer than 15 pages of text, excluding notes, or that are not in the required format will not be read. Questions regarding this competition should be addressed to the Chair of the Writing Competition, Professor Jennifer Martin at jmartin@stu.edu.
National Association of Women Lawyers

IADC 2017 Legal Writing Competition
Deadline: May 19, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is open to students who, at the time of submission of their entries, are enrolled as J.D. candidates in accredited law schools.
Topic: Entries must be submitted in the English language on a subject of practical concern to lawyers engaged in the defense or management of the defense of civil litigation, such as relevant aspects of tort law, insurance law, civil procedure, evidence, damages, alternative dispute resolution procedures, and professional ethics.
Prize: Monetary awards will be made as follows: US $2,000 to the first place winner, US $1,000 to the second place winner, and US $500 to the third place winner. Honorary mentions receive no monetary awards. Authors of monetary award articles and of those awarded honorable mention will receive commemorative plaques, and their articles will be made available for publication in Defense Counsel Journal, IADC's quarterly law review. 
Length: Entries must be submitted via email in English in Microsoft Word format to Melisa Maisel Vanis at mmaisel@iadclaw.org. Footnotes should appear on the page referenced in the text. Avoid excessive footnotes. Use The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (19th edition) for style. Suggested word limit: 12,000 words, including footnotes.
SponsorInternational Association of Defense Counsel

Tax Analysts Student Writing Competition
Deadline: May 31, 2017.
Eligibility: Open to any student currently enrolled in a law, business, or public policy program. Each student may submit one paper. Co-authored papers will be accepted. 
Topic: Articles should focus on an unsettled question of federal, international, or state tax law or policy.
Prize: Winning entries will be published in one of Tax Analysts’ weekly magazines and will be eligible to receive a twelve-month subscription to Tax Analysts’ daily and weekly products. Winners names, along with their school name, will be featured prominently on Tax Analysts’ website. All winning articles will remain indefinitely in the Tax Notes archives.
Length: Entries should be a minimum of 2,500 words and maximum of 12,000 words, including footnotes. Entries should correspond with the current Bluebook Uniform System of Citation, and all citations should be included as footnotes. Bibliographies and reference lists are not allowed. Articles should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents. 
SponsorTax Analysts

ABA Endangered Species Writing Competition
Deadline: May 31, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is is open to any law student who, at the time of entry, (1) is enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school during the academic year of the competition, (2) is a legal resident of the United States, and (3) is at least 18 years old.
Topic: Demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance on any issue related the Endangered Species Act, wildlife law, and natural resources.
Prize: The first place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, the second place winner will receive a $750 cash prize, and the third place winner will receive a $500 cash prize. The winners will be announced in the Section's monthly electronic newsletter, as well as on the Section’s website.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Length: Entries must be submitted in word format on 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper format, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, 12-point type (10-point for footnotes, single-spaced, which must be in Bluebook format), and must not exceed 10 pages, excluding footnotes. Each page must have a header including the title of the paper and a page number. Entries shall also include a separate cover sheet in a separate electronic word file. The following information shall be presented on the cover sheet: competition title; essay title; author's name; law school; expected year of graduation from law school; author's mailing address; author’s telephone number(s) and email address. Entries and coversheets must be submitted electronically in two separate word files, as an email attachment. Entries must be submitted vie email to Kevin.Gordon@americanbar.org with the subject line: “Law Student Writing Competition: Endangered Species.”
Sponsor: ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources



2017 Robert C. Watson Competition
Deadline: June 30, 2017.
Eligibility: The competition is is open to any full-time law student.
Topic: Students are encouraged to submit articles on a subject relating to the protection of intellectual property.
Prize: The winner will receive reasonable expense reimbursement to attend the AIPLA Annual Meeting, October 19-21, 2017 in WAshington, D.C., to receive their award.                                                                          Length: Papers should be approximately 10 law review pages including footnotes (30-40 typed copy). Entries should be submitted  to wastsonaward@aipla.org (pdf format preferred)                                                 Sponsor: American Intellectual Property Law Association