Writing Competitions


The Paper Chase, a writing competition between Texas law schools, is now open. The competition requires students to write a short motion for rehearing based on a packet. Texas Law will select its top three entrants to compete against other Texas law school for prizes of $5,000 (first place), $1,500 (second place) and $500 (third place). Last year, Texas Law took first and second places in this competition. The prompt and entry submission form are available here. Deadline is October 25, 2018.


Law students are also 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:

  • Center for Alcohol Policy National Essay Contest for essays on the necessity of state-based licensing for an orderly marketplace, its impact on public health and safety, and the benefits provided by licensing systems (cash prizes awarded to first, second, and third-place winners are $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 respectively; deadline is December 7, 2018).
  • Institute for Energy Law of the Center for American and International Law IEL Hartrick Scholar Writing Competition for articles on any topic related to energy development, such as oil and gas law, alternative energy resources, energy regulation, and environmental regulation of energy industries ($2,500 cash award presented at the Institute’s annual conference, in addition to reimbursement of travel costs for the conference; deadline is December 7, 2018).
  • UCLA Williams Institute Dukeminier Awards Student Writing Competition for unpublished articles on cutting-edge legal issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgendered communities (first-place award is $1,000; deadline is December 15, 2018).
  • Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago Kent College of Law’s Louis Jackson National Student Memorial Writing Competition in Employment or Labor Law for papers on any topic relating to the law governing the workplace, such as employment law, labor law, employee benefits, or employment discrimination (one award of $3,000 and two of $1,000 will be presented, in addition to publication of the top three entries on the Institute for Law and the Workplace website; deadline is January 23, 2019).
  • University of Oklahoma American Indian Law Review 2018–2019 Writing Competition for papers on any legal issue specifically concerning American Indians or other indigenous peoples (first, second, and third-place winners receive $1,000, $500, and $250 respectively; deadline is January 31, 2019).
  • American Constitution Society’s Twelfth Annual Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law for articles or essays on empirical or comparative analyses of the effectiveness of specific regulatory regimes or deregulation; doctrinal investigations of the development of administrative law rules or principles by courts and administrative agencies and the effects of that development; and normative analyses of how particular regulatory or administrative regimes or deregulation advance or fail to advance values of fairness, participation, and transparency. Coauthored submissions are eligible; if selected, coauthors will share the prize. (Award is $1,500 and recognition at the 2019 ACS National Convention; deadline is February 3, 2019.)

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.