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:

  • 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)
  • Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation’s 28th Annual Brown Award for papers written by J.D. or LL.M. students. Submissions must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a law school faculty member or legal professional other than the author. ($10,000 award for first place; $5,000 for second; $3,000 for third; $1,000 finalist; $5,000 to the scholarship fund selected by the dean of the law school in which the first-place candidate is enrolled; deadline May 28, 2021)
  • Louis T. Pirkey Prize in Intellectual Property Law for papers written by University of Texas law students during the current academic year with a substantial focus on one or more issues of intellectual property law ($1,000 prize; deadline May 28, 2021)
  • Notre Dame Law School Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition for essays relating to legal ethics ($2,500 prize; deadline June 1, 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)
  • American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize for essays regarding professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence ($5,000 prize; deadline July 1, 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.