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Writing Competitions

Writing Competitions for law students and legal scholars.

Writing competitions are a great way to showcase your work and hone your writing skills. They also are a good way to make money! 

Students who enter writing competitions can submit their papers to Digital Commons @WCL, the law school's institutional repository. 

Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest

Title Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest
Deadline April 23, 2021
Topic Family Law
Sponsor The ABA Section of Family Law
Description The subject may be any aspect of Family Law. The primary focus of each essay should be an issue of law, although some interdisciplinary material may be useful in addressing a legal issue. Family law includes dissolution of marriage and other intimate relationships, relationships of persons of the same sex, parentage, custody, child support, division of property, alimony (maintenance), attorney's fees, adoption, dependency, termination of parental rights, rights pertaining to procreation, and alternative dispute resolution of Family Law issues. 
Prize

1st Place: $1,500, Certificate of recognition as first-place winner, Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly, Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA section of Family Law website, Letter to Law School Dean

2nd Place: $750, Certificate of recognition as second-place winner, Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly, Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA section of Family Law website, Letter to Law School Dean

3rd Place: $350, Certificate of recognition as second-place winner, Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly, Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA section of Family Law website, Letter to Law School Dean

Contact & Submission Info familylaw@americanbar.org
Competition URL https://www.americanbar.org/groups/family_law/awards-initiatives/essay_contest/

 

Sixth Annual National Health Law Writing Competition

Title The Sixth Annual AUWCL National Health Law Writing Competition
Deadline April 25, 2021
Topic Health Law and/or Food and Drug Law
Sponsor American University Washington College of Law Health Law and Policy Program
Description This competition is designed to encourage law students to write scholarly papers on current topics of interest relevant to health law and/or food and drug law.
Prize

1st Place: $2,000

2nd Place: $1,500

3rd Place: $1,000

Honorable Mention: $750

Contact & Submission Info scielzo@wcl.american.edu
Competition URL https://www.wcl.american.edu/impact/initiatives-programs/health/competition/

 

Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Competition

Title Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Competition
Deadline April 30, 2021
Topic What is the role of the liability system in addressing Covid-19?
Sponsor R. Ben Hogan III of Hogan Law Office, PC and Gerson H. Smoger & Associates. The essay competition is administered by Public Citizen. 
Description The competition is open to all current law students, post 2015 law graduates, and all Masters of Law students. Co-authored submissions are eligible. If selected, the co-authors will share the prize. Each submission must be an original, unpublished academic work. 
Prize The winner will receive $5,000. Only one winning paper will be chosen and only one prize awarded. 
Contact & Submission Info afleming@citizen.org
Competition URL https://www.citizen.org/article/the-2021-hogan-smoger-access-to-justice-essay-competition/

 

The Criminal Justice Reform National Writing Competition

Title The Academy for Justice and Arizona State Law Journal Present: The Criminal Justice Reform National Writing Competition
Deadline May 16, 2021
Topic Criminal Justice Reform
Sponsor The Arizona State Law Journal and the Academy for Justice
Description This national writing competition seeks to promote legal scholarship centering on criminal justice reform. 
Prize 1st Place: $1,000
Contact & Submission Info AJASLJ.crimlawwritingcomp@gmail.com
Competition URL https://arizonastatelawjournal.org/national-writing-competition/

 

Louis Jackson Memorial National Writing Competition

Title Louis Jackson Memorial National Student Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law
Deadline June 15, 2021
Topic Employment and Labor Law
Sponsor This competition is sponsored by Jackson Lewis LLP and is administered by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law's Institute for Law and the Workplace.
Description The competition recognizes the best legal writing in the field of labor and employment law among current law students.
Prize

1st Place: $3,000

2nd Place: $1,000

3rd Place: $1,000

Contact & Submission Info tkirvin@kentlaw.iit,edu
Competition URL https://www.kentlaw.iit.edu/institutes-centers/institute-for-law-and-the-workplace/louis-jackson-writing-competition

 

Christopher E. Bergin Writing Competition

Title Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition
Deadline June 30, 2021
Topic Trusts and Estates, broadly defined
Sponsor The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
Description

Any one or more of the following topics are appropriate for discussion:

Business Planning, Charitable Planning, Elder Law, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary Accounting, Fiduciary Administration, Fiduciary Income Taxation, Fiduciary Litigation, Estate Planning and Drafting, Professional Responsibility, Substantive Laws for the Gratuitous Transmission of Property, Wealth Transfer Taxation (Estate, Gift, and GST Tax)

Prize

1st Place: A full tuition scholarship to the Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning at the University of Miami School of Law for the 2021-2022 or 2022-2023 academic year (candidates must apply and be admitted as full time students to be considered for the scholarship), $5,000 award and publication in the ACTEC Law Journal

2nd Place: $3,000 award, online publication on the ACTEC Foundation's website, and possible publication in the ACTEC Law Journal

3rd Place: $1,000 award, online publication on the ACTEC Foundation's website, and possible publication in the ACTEC Law Journal

Contact & Submission Info amy.michaud@actec.org
Competition URL https://actecfoundation.org/resources-for-law-students/law-student-writing-competition/

 

Warren E. Burger Prize

Title The American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize
Deadline July 1, 2021
Topic A topic of your choice addressing issues of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence
Sponsor The American Inns of Court
Description The American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize is a writing competition designed to promote scholarship in the areas of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence.
Prize The author of the winning essay will receive a cash prize of $5,000, the essay will be published in the South Carolina Law Review, and the prize will be presented to the recipient at the American Inns of Court annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States.
Contact & Submission Info Cindy Dennis, (571) 319-4703
Competition URL https://home.innsofcourt.org/burgerprize

 

William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition

Title William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition
Deadline July 1, 2021
Topic Police Use-of-Force
Sponsor American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section
Description

The Supreme Court has held that a Police Officer does not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable seizures if their use of force was "objectively reasonable" under the totality of the facts and circumstances confronting the officer. Should the "objectively reasonable" standard be changed? Why or why not?

Further, should the Fourth Amendment require that no reasonable alternative to the use of force, or the amount of force used, existed to accomplish the lawful purpose intended by the officer, For example, should an officer be required to use verbal de-escalation techniques before using force? Should the officer have to exhaust all other options before using deadly force?

Prize The winner will receive a $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. In addition, the winner's law school will receive a plaque from the ABA's Criminal Justice Section. The winning entry may be selected for publication in Criminal Justice magazine. 
Contact & Submission Info erin.remotigue@americanbar.org
Competition URL https://www.americanbar.org/groups/criminal_justice/awards/writing_competition/