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.

Here are some you may be interested in:

  • Insurance Law Section of State Bar of Texas 2020 Law Student Writing Competition for papers on insurance law, insurance coverage, and/or an insurance-law related topic of the student’s choice (awards of $4,000, $2,000, and $1,000; deadline December 10, 2020)
  • The Recording Academy’s 2021 Entertainment Law Initiative Student Writing Competition for papers outlining a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry (first prize is $10,000 scholarship toward law school tuition; two runners-up receive $2,500 scholarship toward law school tuition; deadline January 4, 2021)
  • Center for Alcohol Policy annual essay contest on state-based alcohol regulation for papers addressing the question of whether the nation’s alcohol history can help shape and inform government health policies related to dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic (awards of $5,000, $2,500, and $2,000; deadline January 8, 2021)
  • Human Rights Essay Award, sponsored by American University Washington College of Law, for articles on any subject related to international human rights. Two awards will be granted—one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish (award is full scholarship to the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; deadline February 1, 2021)
  • Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School’s writing competition for papers on topics related to church, state and society (awards of $4,000, $3,000, and $2,000, with $1,000 for honorable mention; deadline February 15, 2021)
  • State Bar of Texas Women and the Law Section’s 2021 Texas Law Student Writing Competition for essays on topics that identify and analyze legal challenges for women in Texas and/or the United States based on recent news reports (first and second place scholarships of $1,000 and $500 respectively; deadline February 28, 2021)
  • Companion Animal Law Writing Contest, sponsored by the American Kennel Club for entries concerning either forfeiture of any animal or the legal treatment of animals as property (awards of $2,500 and $500; deadline March 31, 2021)
  • California Lawyers Association Marshall Manne Schulman Competition for Student Papers in Criminal Law and/or Criminal Procedure for papers pertaining to criminal law and/or to criminal procedure, with a particular focus on contemporary issues of concern in the State of California. This is a nationwide competition; while the focus is on California law, past winners have included students attending schools across the country. ($1,500 grand prize; $500 honorable mention; deadline April 2, 2021)
  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and
    American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Law Student Writing Competition for articles on relevant topics of interest to labor and employment lawyers in their practices (awards of $3,000, $1,000, and $500; deadline June 15, 2021)

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.