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Law Essay Writing Competitions

Writing Competitions

Writing Competitions

The 2018 Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest
Topic: The 2018 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.
Deadline: March 9, 2018

Notre Dame Law School’s Arthur Abel Writing Competition
Topic: Any original legal scholarship.
Deadline: March 22, 2018

The AKC’s Companion Animal Law Writing Contest
Topic: Pet custody OR the legal status of companion animals as personal property.
Deadline: March 30, 2018

Paul Faherty Writing Competition
Topic: any aspect of Tax Law
Deadline: April each year

2017-2018 Henry L. Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition
Topic: current issues of constitutional environmental law
Deadline: April 9, 2018

2018 Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest, Section of Family Law
Topic: Family Law
Deadline: April 13, 2018

The Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition
Topic: Legal ethics
Deadline: April 27, 2018

Pacific Legal Foundation Law Student Writing Competition
Topics: Property rights, economic liberty, environmental law, free speech
Deadline: May 15, 2018

The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing
Topics: No topic limit other than must be on a legal subject.
Deadline: June 1, 2018

2018 Greenhalgh Writing Competition
Topic: 4th Amendment. $2,500 prize.
Deadline: July 1, 2018

2018 American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize
Topic: Addressing issues of legal excellence, civility, ethics, and professionalism.
Deadline: July 1, 2018

2018 Tannenwald Writing Competition
Topic: Technical or policy-oriented tax issues relating to any type of existing or proposed U.S. federal or state tax or U.S. federal or state taxation system. Prizes vary. More information at the organzation’s website.
Deadline: July 6, 2018

Writing Competitions

Law students are eligible to enter writing competitions sponsored by organizations around the country.  Many of these competitions award scholarships or cash prizes to the winning students.

  • The National Law Review 2017 Student Writing Competition, for articles on topics such as cyber security, immigration rights, election coverage, or other current issues relating to the law. Winning entries will be published on the NLR website and remain accessible for up to two years. This is an ongoing competition; check the website for further information.
  • The American Indian Law Review Writing Competition for papers on any legal issue specifically concerning American Indians or other indigenous peoples (first place is $1,000 and publication in The American Indian Law Review; deadline January 31, 2018. Winners will be announced on or before May 1, 2018.).
  • The 2018 Affordable Housing and Community Development Law Student Legal Writing Competition, sponsored by the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, for original, unpublished work on any legal issue regarding affordable housing and/or community development law (award is $1,000, with the possible travel reimbursement to attend the Forum’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC, May 2018; deadline March 3, 2018).
  • The 2018 Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest, sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability, for an essay on a hypothetical involving ethical concerns (cash prize of $5,000 plus all-expense-paid trip of Washington, D.C., for prize presentation; deadline March 9, 2018).
  • The American Kennel Club, Inc., Companion Animal Law Writing Contest for papers on one of two pre-defined topics described at the link (first place $2,500, second place $500; deadline March 30, 2018).
  • 2017-18 Henry L. Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition for articles/essays on any topic addressing developments or trends in US environmental law with a significant constitutional, “federalism,” or other cross-cutting component (winning article will receive $2,000 cash, publication in the Environmental Law Reporter, and a one-year membership to ELI; deadline April 9, 2018).
  • University of Notre Dame’s Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition, for essays on any issue within the general category of legal ethics (cash prize $2,500; deadline April 27, 2018).
  • Louis T. Pirkey Prize in Intellectual Property Law for unpublished papers focusing on one or more issues of intellectual property law (award is $500; deadline May 31, 2018).
  • Tax Analysts 2018 Student Writing Competition for papers focusing on unsettled questions of federal, international, or state tax law or policy (winning entries published in one of Tax Analysts’ weekly magazines and eligible to receive a 12-month subscription to Tax Analysts’ daily and weekly products; deadline May 31, 2018).
  • 25th Annual Brown Award, sponsored by the Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation, in recognition of Excellence in Legal Writing in American Law Schools; faculty recommendation required (awards: $10,000 first place, $5,000 second place, $3,000 third place, two $1,000 finalists, and $5,000 goes to the scholarship fund selected by the dean of the first-place winner’s law school; deadline June 1, 2018).
  • 35th Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition for unpublished papers on significant questions in either city planning or associated areas of law, e.g., land use, local government, or environmental law (winning entry receives $2000 and publication in The Urban Lawyer, second place wins $400, honorable mention wins $100; deadline June 4, 2018).
  • 2017-2018 Annual Law Student Writing Competition, sponsored by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, for articles on aspects of public or private labor and/or employment law relevant to the American labor and employment bar (first place $3,000; deadline June 15, 2018).
  • 2018 American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize writing competition on topics that address the areas of professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal excellence (cash prize of $5,000 and publication in the South Carolina Law Review; deadline July 1, 2018).
  • William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition, sponsored by the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, for papers on the Fourth Amendment and the constitutional implications of the emergence of technologies not contemplated at the time the it was drafted (prize: $2,500, expense-paid trip to ABA Annual Meeting, and possible publication in Criminal Justice magazine; deadline July 1, 2018).
  • 2018 Tannenwald Writing Competition, sponsored by the Theodore Tannenwald,, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and the American College of Tax counsel, for papers on any federal or state tax-related topic (cash prizes of $5,000, $2,500, and $2,500 for top three papers; deadline July 6, 2018).

The American Bar Association collects writing competitions here.

The University of Richmond School of Law collects writing competitions here.

Suffolk University collects writing competitions here.