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.

  • The National Law Review 2017 Student Writing Competition, for articles on topics such as cyber security, immigration rights, election coverage, or other current issues relating to the law. Winning entries will be published on the NLR website and remain accessible for up to two years. This is an ongoing competition; check the website for further information.
  • Louis T. Pirkey Prize in Intellectual Property Law for unpublished papers focusing on one or more issues of intellectual property law (award is $500; deadline May 31, 2018).
  • Tax Analysts 2018 Student Writing Competition for papers focusing on unsettled questions of federal, international, or state tax law or policy (winning entries published in one of Tax Analysts’ weekly magazines and eligible to receive a 12-month subscription to Tax Analysts’ daily and weekly products; deadline May 31, 2018).
  • 25th Annual Brown Award, sponsored by the Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation, in recognition of Excellence in Legal Writing in American Law Schools; faculty recommendation required (awards: $10,000 first place, $5,000 second place, $3,000 third place, two $1,000 finalists, and $5,000 goes to the scholarship fund selected by the dean of the first-place winner’s law school; deadline June 1, 2018).
  • 35th Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition for unpublished papers on significant questions in either city planning or associated areas of law, e.g., land use, local government, or environmental law (winning entry receives $2000 and publication in The Urban Lawyer, second place wins $400, honorable mention wins $100; deadline June 4, 2018).
  • 2017–2018 Law Student Expungement Writing Competition, sponsored by Higbee & Associates and the Foundation for Continuing Justice, for essays on improvement of state expungement-related laws, public reporting of criminal records, and the effects of criminal records on former offenders’ ability to reassimilate (first place $2,000; second place $1,000; deadline June 30, 2018).
  • 2018 American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize writing competition on topics that address the areas of professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal excellence (cash prize of $5,000 and publication in the South Carolina Law Review; deadline July 1, 2018).
  • Audre Rapoport Prize for Scholarship on Gender and Human Rights, an interdisciplinary writing competition on international human rights and gender, for papers from any discipline that address gender and human rights from an international, transnational, or comparative perspective (winning entry receives $1,000 and consideration for publication in the Working Papers Series; deadline July 1, 2018).
  • William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition, sponsored by the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, for papers on the Fourth Amendment and the constitutional implications of the emergence of technologies not contemplated at the time the it was drafted (prize: $2,500, expense-paid trip to ABA Annual Meeting, and possible publication in Criminal Justice magazine; deadline July 1, 2018).
  • 2018 Tannenwald Writing Competition, sponsored by the Theodore Tannenwald,, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and the American College of Tax counsel, for papers on any federal or state tax-related topic (cash prizes of $5,000, $2,500, and $2,500 for top three papers; deadline July 6, 2018).
  • The American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law 2018 Writing Competition for articles on any topic related to construction law (cash prize of $2,000 and travel to the fall 2018 ABA Forum on Construction Law; deadline July 9, 2018).

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.