Students can earn recognition and monetary prizes by participating in writing competitions, often sponsored by attorney bar associations like the American Bar Association. Many of these competitions are focused on specific practice areas in the law. Students preparing notes or other significant research papers may also have the opportunity to have their work published by the competition's sponsors.

In additions, there are certain publications (like the Wall Street Journal's opinion page, or the National Law Review) that actively solicit shorter student pieces.

Below is a listing of just a few of the writing competitions available for law students, and the associated deadlines for submitting papers or other writings.  Length requirements vary, from shorter blog-length essays to longer full research papers.

Writing Competitions

1/31/21 Google’s Diverse Copyright Thesis Award, on copyright law
2/1/21 Human Rights Essay Award, on international human rights law
2/1/21 Trandafir Writing Competition, on contemporary int'l business concern
2/1/21 Baxter Family Competition on Federalism
TBA LawStories at BYU, on narrative and personal stories about the law (deadline is usually early February)
2/7/21 ACS Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition, on regulatory and administrative law
2/7/21 ACS Constance Baker Motley Competition, on progressive vision of Constitution, law, and public policy
2/15/21 The Hofstra Law and AFCC Family Law Writing Competition, on family law
2/26/21  ABA Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest, on business law 
2/15/21 NYSBA Business Law Section, topic relevant to NY business lawyers, but open to anyone
2/26/21 American Indian Law Review Writing Competition, on indigenous people
2/26/21 Epstein Becker Green Health Law Writing Competition, on health law
2/28/21 Natl Italian American Bar Assn Scholarship, on experience demonstrating pride in Italian heritage
2/28/21 National Law Review Law Student Writing Competition, on practice-oriented legal analysis
2/28/21 NYIPLA William C. Conner Intellectual Property Law Writing Competition, on IP law
3/1/21 Alaska Bar Association, students with ties to Alaska and intent to return
3/2/21 Cal. Lawyers Assn Schulman Competition, on criminal law and/or criminal procedure (particularly CA)
3/25/21 ABA Affordable Housing & Community Development Competition, on affordable housing or community development law
4/9/21 ABA Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay, on family law
6/1/21 ASLME 1st Annual Anti-Racism Student Writing Competition
8/15/21 NYSBA Business Law Section, topic relevant to NY business lawyers, but open to anyone
 
2/17/20 FICPI/ATRIP Competition for Young Researchers in IP Law, on intellectual property
2/28/20 Sports Law Association Writing Competition, on sports law
3/6/20 ABA Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest, on ethics, professional responsibility, and legal malpractice
3/15/20 International Insolvency Institute Prize, on intl insolvency and restructuring
3/23/20 ABA Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee, on admiralty and maritime law
3/27/20 Sarah Weddington Writing Prize, on democracy, governance, and reproductive justice
3/30/20 Berkeley Technology Law Journal Writing Competition, on law and technology
3/31/20 National Law Review Law Student Writing Competition, on practice-oriented legal analysis
4/1/20 Beverly Hills Bar Association Rule of Law Competition, on the rule of law
4/8/19 ELI Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition, on constitutional environmental law
4/10/20 ABA Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay, on family law
4/13/18 Paul Faherty Tax Law Writing Competition, on tax law
4/15/20 JAG National Security Law Writing Competition, on law as instrument of natl power
4/15/20 James R. Cleary Prize for Student Media Law and Policy Research, on media law and policy
4/15/19 Morris L. Cohen Writing Competition, on legal history, rare books, or legal archives
5/25/18 AAJ Class Action Litigation Group Student Writing Competition, on class actions
5/31/19 National Sports Law Student Writing Competition, on sports law
6/1/19 Levin Center Award for Excellence in Oversight Research, on legislative oversight
6/7/19 APA Smith-Babcock-Williams Writing Competition, on city planning, land use, local gov't, or environmental law
7/1/19 George Hutchinson Writing Competition, on matters w/in Federal Circuit jurisdiction
7/1/19 Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize, on civil liberties and national security
7/12/19 NYSBA Committee on Animals and the Law Writing Competition, on animal law
7/26/19 ABA Forum on Construction Law, on construction law
7/31/19 Juvenile Justice Law School Scholarship, on juvenile justice
7/31/19 Rear Admiral John S. Jenkins Writing Award, on a military legal topic
8/1/19 National Association of Women Judges: NAWJ Equal Access to Justice Scholarship
8/31/18 ABA National Security Law Student Writing Competition, on national security
9/15/18 2018 Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition, on legal ethics
9/28/18 ACS Rule of Law Strategy Competition, on presidential conflicts of interest
9/30/19 ABA Public Contract Annual Writing Competition, on public contracts and grants
10/15/19 CIPSC 2019 Competition, on IP and technology law
10/28/19 NYSBA Emanual Stein Memorial Writing Competition, on labor or employment law
11/8/19 NYSBA Albert S. Pergam Int'l Law Writing Competition, on international law
11/30/19 American Kennel Club Companion Animal Writing Contest, on companion animal law
11/30/18 ABA Health Law Student Writing Competition, on health law
12/1/19 Justis Law & Technology Writing Competition, on tech, legal services, social media, access to justice
12/6/19 IEL Hartrick Scholar Competition, on energy development
12/6/19 Mark T. Banner Scholarship, on intellectual property careers and diversity
12/15/19 Dukeminier Awards Student Writing Competition, on issues affecting LGBT communities
12/15/19 Reeves Law Group Scholarship, on problem-solving using law
12/19/19 UCLA Disability Law Journal Student Note Competition, on disability law
12/20/19 Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition, on AI or the Internet of Things
12/31/18 Expert Institute, on expert witnesses