Writing Competitions

Student Writing Competitions

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

2/21/19 ABA Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest, on ethics, professional responsibility, and legal malpractice
2/28/20 American Indian Law Review Writing Competition, on indigenous peoples
2/28/20 Epstein Becker Green Health Law Writing Competition, on health law
2/28/20 Natl Italian American Bar Assn Scholarship, on experience demonstrating pride in Italian heritage
2/28/20 National Law Review Law Student Writing Competition, on practice-oriented legal analysis
2/28/20 NYIPLA William C. Conner Intellectual Property Law Writing Competition, on IP law
3/1/20 Alaska Bar Association, students with ties to Alaska and intent to return
3/2/20 Cal. Lawyers Assn Schulman Competition, on criminal law and/or criminal procedure (particularly CA)
3/6/20 ABA Affordable Housing & Community Development Competition, on affordable housing or community development law
3/15/20 International Insolvency Institute Prize, on intl insolvency and restructuring
3/15/20 James R. Cleary Prize for Student Media Law and Policy Research, on media law and policy
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
4/1/20 Cal. Lawyers Assn. Public Law Section, on public law (admin law, con law, election law, legislation, etc.)
4/1/20 NW Corporate Law Scholarship, on law school preparation for practice
4/10/20 ABA Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay, on family law
4/15/20 JAG National Security Law Writing Competition, on law as instrument of natl power
4/20/20 American Bankruptcy Institute, on bankruptcy law
4/24/20 Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition, on legal ethics
4/30/20 Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Competition, on court secrecy
4/30/20 Nat'l Ass'n of Chapter 13 Trustees Law Student Writing Competition, on Chapter 13
4/30/20 National Law Review Law Student Writing Competition, on practice-oriented legal analysis
4/30/20 TPRC48, on communications, information, and internet policy
5/1/20 AAJ Trial Advocacy Scholarship, for commitment to trial advocacy and personal injury law
5/1/20 ABA Gellhorn-Sargentich Competition, on administrative law
5/1/20 NAWL Selma Moidel Smith Competition, on the centennial of the 19th Amendment
5/15/20 ABA Environment, Energy, Resources Writing Competition, on energy law
5/22/20 Andrew P. Vance Writing Competition, on customs and int'l trade law
5/29/20 IDEA Student IP Writing Competition, on intellectual property law
5/29/20 Judge John R. Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing, on any legal topic
5/31/20 ABA Environment, Energy, Resources Writing Competition, on public land and resources
5/31/20 ABA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Competition, on real property, trusts & estates
5/31/20 Charles Benton Early Career Scholar Award, on digital inclusion and broadband adoption
5/31/20 Georgetown Law Inst. for Tech. Law & Policy, on AI, machine learning, or data analytics
5/31/20 Moses & Rooth Criminal Defense Scholarship, on DUI checkpoints
5/31/20 National Law Review Law Student Writing Competition, on practice-oriented legal analysis
6/1/20 American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Prize, on employee benefits law
6/1/20 Michigan Workers Comp Law Scholarship, on workplace injuries
6/10/20 Milani Writing Competition, on disability law
6/15/20 ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, on labor and employment law
6/15/20 Chapman Albin Scholarship Award
6/19/20 FDLI H. Thomas Austern Writing Competition, on FDA-regulated industries
6/30/20 ACTEC Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition, on trusts and estates
6/30/20 AIPLA Robert C. Watson Award, on IP law
6/30/20 ASPL Larry M. Simonsmeier Writing Award, on pharmacy law
6/30/20 Christopher E. Bergin Award, on tax law or policy
6/30/20 CSCHS Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition, on California legal history
6/30/20 K. William Kolbe Writing Competition, on infrastructure and regulated industries
6/30/20 National Law Review Law Student Writing Competition, on practice-oriented legal analysis
9/30/20 Criminal Record Policy Essay Competition, on criminal record expungement
1/2/20 Entertainment Law Initiative, on issues confronting the music industry
1/7/20 Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition, on federal tax law
1/7/20 Federalist Society Article I Initiative, on the non-delegation principle
1/11/20 U. Pa. L. Rev. Public Interest Essay Competition, on social justice and the public interest
1/15/20 American College of Legal Medicine Hirsh Award, on medical ethics or legal aspects of healthcare
1/15/20 Scribes award (entry form), best student-written article in law review
1/17/20 Center for Alcohol Policy National Essay Contest, on SCOTUS 2019 TN Wine & Spirits case
1/17/20 Ladas Memorial Award Competition, on trademark law
1/22/20 Louis Jackson Nat'l Student Memorial Writing Competition, on employment and labor law
1/31/20 ABA Antitrust Law Competition, on antitrust, competition, and consumer protection
1/31/20 National Law Review Law Student Writing Competition, on practice-oriented legal analysis
1/31/19 Sarah Weddington Writing Prize, on democracy, governance, and reproductive justice
2/1/20 Hofstra/Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, on family law
2/1/20 Human Rights Essay Award, on international human rights law
2/1/20 Trandafir Writing Competition, on contemporary int'l business concern
2/2/20 ACS Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition, on regulatory and administrative law
2/6/20 LawStories at BYU, on narrative and personal stories about the law
2/9/20 ACS Constance Baker Motley Competition, on progressive vision of Constitution, law, and public policy
2/11/19 McGill/Baxter Family Competition on Federalism, on federalism
2/14/19 ABA Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest, on business law
2/15/19 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
2/22/19 ABA Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee, on admiralty and maritime law
4/8/19 ELI Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition, on constitutional environmental law
4/13/18 Paul Faherty Tax Law Writing Competition, on tax law
4/15/19 Justice Rudolph Hargrave Writing Competition, on Native American law
4/15/19 Morris L. Cohen Writing Competition, on legal history, rare books, or legal archives
5/1/19 Chief Justice John B. Doolin Writing Competition, on indigenous peoples
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 ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest, for short fiction on the role of law/lawyers
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
6/14/19 James B. Boskey ADR Writing Competition, on dispute resolution
6/30/19 LCCHP Student Writing Competition, on cultural heritage law
7/1/19 ABA William W. Greenhalgh Competition, on the use of drones by law enforcement
7/1/19 American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize, on professionalism and ethics
7/1/19 George Hutchinson Writing Competition, on matters w/in Federal Circuit jurisdiction
7/1/19 George Jay Joseph Competition, on education law
7/1/19 ICLRS Religious Liberty Student Writing Competition, on religious liberty
7/1/19 Robert T. Matsui Writing Competition, on issues important to Asian-American community
7/1/19 Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize, on civil liberties and national security
7/8/19 Theodore Tannenwald Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship, on tax law
7/12/19 NYSBA Committee on Animals and the Law Writing Competition, on animal law
7/19/19 AAAL Eisenberg Prize, on appellate practice and procedure
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
8/15/19 NYSBA Business Law Section, topic relevant to NY business lawyers, but open to anyone
8/31/18 ABA National Security Law Student Writing Competition, on national security
9/1/19 Yale Law Journal Forum Student Essay Competition, on novel issues in immigration law
9/15/18 2018 Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition, on legal ethics
9/20/19 Beckley Securities Arbitration and Law Competition, on arbitration and securities law
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
10/1/19 NW Corporate Law Scholarship, on inefficiencies in the legal profession
10/15/19 CIPSC 2019 Competition, on IP and technology 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 American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, on consumer financial services
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