Writing Competitions

For additional writing competitions, visit Richmond Law's Legal Essay Contest Catalog and Suffolk University's iCompete Writing

Morris Cohen Writing Contest

Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

Students currently enrolled in programs in library science, law, history, or a related field are eligible. Essay may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The winning essay will receive a $500 prize, and up to $1,000 for expenses associated with attending the AALL annual meeting. Complete rules here. Deadline: April 16, 2018

Morris Cohen - Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

Robert Masur Fellowship in Civil Liberties

Applications are now open for the 2018 Robert Masur Fellowship in Civil Liberties at The Nation Institute. 

The fellowship competition is open to first-year law students who intend to carry out significant activities during the summer (in between their first and second years) in the areas of civil rights and/or civil liberties. The fellowship recipients each receive a $2,000 honorarium. Proposed activities may include a writing or research project, work with a public interest organization, work on a law case under the supervision of a faculty member or lawyer, or any other work in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties.

Applicants should submit a proposal, no more than two pages, describing their intended summer project, along with a resumé, a brief letter of recommendation, and the name of their faculty or organizational sponsor. See website for more information. Deadline: April 27, 2018.

Masur Fellowship logo - Robert Masur Fellowship in Civil Liberties
Notre Dame Ethics Writing Competition

Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition

Competition is open to all law students. Entries may concern any issue within the category of legal ethics. Essays will be judged on clarity, coherence, creativity, insight and mastery of the relevant rules and cases. The winner will receive $2,500. PDF of complete rules and submission information. Deadline: Friday, April 27, 2018

Notre Dame Ethics Writing Competition - Notre Dame Ethics Writing Competition
NAWL Writing competition

National Association of Women Lawyers 2018 Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition

National Association of Women Lawyers has been empowering women in the legal profession since 1899. The annual Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition was established to encourage and reward original law student writing on issues concerning women and the law. Essays will be accepted from students enrolled at any law school during the 2017-18 school year. Papers written by students for coursework or independent study during the summer, fall, or spring semesters are eligible for submission. Essays will be judged based upon content, exhaustiveness of research, originality, writing style, and timeliness. The winning essay will receive $500 cash and publication. See the NAWL website for complete rules and guidelines. Deadline: May 1, 2018.

NAWL logog - NAWL

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers Annual Law Student Writing Competition

Papers of 20 - 40 pages on a topic affecting labor and employment in the U.S. or abroad including public policy, practical implications of a case or doctrine, the need for statutory modification, or common law doctrine. First place $3,000 and possible publication in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law. Submission deadline: June 15, 2018. Complete rules (PDF).

- College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Law Student Expungement Writing Competition

Law Student Expungement Writing Competition

Sponsored by The Foundation for Continuing Justice and the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates. More than $3,000 will be awarded to the 5 winners. Essays must be written on one of the following topics:

  • 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?

See competition website for guideline and submission information. Deadline: June 30, 2018

Writing competition logo - Law Student Expungement Writing Competition
Religious Liberty Writing Competition

Ninth Annual Religious Liberty Student Writing Competition

Sponsored by the Washington, D.C. Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clarke Society and the International Center for Law and Religious Studies, the competition is intended to promote legal and academic studies in the area of religious liberty. Scholarly papers of 9,000 - 13,000 words must be on a topic of domestic or international religious liberty. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top fop essays with the winning paper receiveing $4,000.00. Please refer to the competition flyer for submission details. Deadline: July 1, 2018.

Religious Liberty Writing Competition - Religious Liberty Student Writing Competition
Chicago-Kent College of Law

Chicago-Kent College of Law/ Roy C Palmer Civil Liberties Prize

Scholarly articles focusing on the tension between civil liberties and national security are n ow being accepted. Articles must be in draft form or published within the last 12 months. The winner will receive a $10,000 stipend and an all expesnes paid trip to Chicago-Kent to present the papaer. For more information, visit the website for submission guidelinesDeadline: July 1, 2018

Chicago-Kent College of Law logo - Chicago-Kent College of Law Roy C Palmer Civil Liberties Prize