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Student Writing Competitions

Administrative Law

American Constitution Society

The ACS is sponsoring the Ninth Annual Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law. Submissions should be related to American regulatory or administrative law, broadly construed. Appropriate subjects include empirical or comparative analyses of the effectiveness of specific regulatory regimes or of 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.  The author of the winning paper in each category (lawyer and law student) will receive a cash prize of $1,500. The winning papers will receive special recognition at the Summer 2015 ACS National Convention, on the ACS website, and potentially through other means agreed upon by the authors and ACS.

Deadline: February 5, 2016

American Bar Association

The ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice is sponsoring their annual Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Award Competition.  The entry must discuss any topic relating to administrative law.  The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and round-trip airfare and accommodation to attend the Section’s Fall Conference in Washington, DC. At the discretion of the Section and the respective editorial boards, the winning entry may be selected for publication in the Administrative and Regulatory Law News and/or the Administrative Law Review.

Deadline: May 1, 2016

Antitrust Law

American Bar Association

The ABA Section of Antitrust Law is sponsoring their Annual Student Writing Competition.  Papers should cover topics relating to eligible articles of general interest to the antitrust law community, including: Civil and Criminal Antitrust Law, Competition Policy,Consumer Protection, and International Competition Law. The article must be published in the student's school's law review or journal January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, and the student must be nominated by the publication's editor-in-chief.  The $2,500 award will be presented at the Antitrust Section's Spring Meeting (April 6-8, 2016) in Washington, DC. The winner will receive an invitation to the Meeting, as well as transportation and accommodations (if living outside DC area).

Deadline: January 29,2016

Business Law

American Bar Association

The ABA Business Law Section is sponsoring the Mendes Hershman Award.  The papers will be judged on research and analysis, choice of topic, writing style, originality, and contribution to the literature available on the topic. Depending on the topic, prior publication, and other factors, a previously unpublished first place winning essay may be considered for publication in a Section publication.  First place will receive $2,500; second place will receive $1,000; and third place will receive $500.  Each winner will receive an all-expense paid trip by the Section to attend the ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting to collect his/her prize. Outstanding papers may also be included in The Business Lawyer, a quarterly publication which is the premier business law journal in the country.

Deadline: January 15, 2016

Customs and International Trade Bar Association

The CITBA is sponsoring the 17th Annual Andrew P. Vance Memorial Writing Competition.  Papers must contain an in-depth analysis of a current issue relevant to customs and international trade law.  First prize will receive $1,000 and second place will receive $500.

Deadline: May 20, 2016

Constitutional Law

American Constitution Society

The ACS is sponsoring the Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition.  The American Constitution Society welcomes all papers furthering and promoting a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy.   Examples of possible topics include: access to the courts, civil liberties, consumer rights, disability rights, freedom of speech, LGBT rights, human rights, immigration, labor law, money in judicial elections, voting and the political process, privacy, protection of health, safety, the environment, racial equality, religion, second amendment and guns, separation of powers and federalism, and women’s reproductive rights and reproductive freedom.  The author of the top submission will receive $3,000 and be eligible for publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. The authors of the two runner-up submissions will each receive $1,000. ACS will post winning submissions on its website. In addition, the three winning authors will be recognized at the 2016 ACS National Convention in mid-June. 

Deadline: February 12, 2016

Criminal Law

International Association of Defense Counsel

The IADC is sponsoring their annual Student Writing Contest.  Papers should be on a subject of practical concern to lawyers engaged in the defense or management of the defense of civil litigation, such as relevant aspects of tort law, insurance law, civil procedure, evidence, damages, alternative dispute resolution procedures, and professional ethics.  First place receives $2,000; second place receives $1,000; and third place receives $500.

Deadline: May

Education Law

Education Law Association

The ELA is sponsoring the George Jay Joseph Award in Education Law.  The subject matter must address one or more legal issues within any of the various contexts of education, including public and private K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, especially current and emerging issues in elementary and secondary public education.  

Deadline: July 1, 2016

Employment and Labor Law

College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers

The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers is sponsoring their annual Writing Competition for Law Students.  The scope of permissible topics is broad, i.e., any aspect of workers’ compensation law.  Students are encouraged to present: a public policy issue; a critique of a leading case or doctrine; or a comment on a statute or the need for a statutory modification.  First place will receive $2,000 plus $1,000 to the winner's law school scholarship fund; second place will receive $1,500; and third place will receive $1,000.  The winning article will also be considered for publication in the Workers' First Watch, The Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) magazine, and the ABA Tort and Insurance Practice Section Law Journal.  The winner will also be invited (expenses paid) to the Annual College Induction Dinner to be honored during the program.

Deadline: January 15, 2016.

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Chicago-Kent College of Law is co-sponsoring the Louis Jackson Memorial National Student Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law along with Jackson Lewis LLP.  Judges will consider papers on any topic relating to the law governing the workplace, such as employment law, labor law, employee benefits, or employment discrimination. One top honors award of $3,000 and two $1,000 awards will be presented to the top three entries. In addition to the cash awards, the top three entries will be published on the Institute for Law and the Workplace website.

Deadline: January 19, 2016

American Bar Association

The ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, along with the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, is sponsoring their Annual Writing Competition.  Entries should address aspects of public or private sector labor and/or employment law relevant to the American labor and employment bar. First Place will receive $3000; second place will receive $1000; and third place will receive $500. The first-place winning article will be published in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law. In addition, the author will be a guest at the annual CLE program of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and honored at the Annual Induction Dinner of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Deadline: June 15, 2016

American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

The ACEBC is sponsoring their 2016 Writing Competition.  Papers must deal with employee benefits topics. As an illustrative example, a paper might address legal issues involving health benefits, pensions, 401(k) plans, severance, executive compensation, claims, appeals, current or former spouses’ or domestic partners’ benefits, collectively bargained benefits, benefits in bankruptcy, ERISA litigation, fiduciary obligations or the tax treatment of benefits/contributions.  There are two prizes which may be awarded of $1,500 each.  The winning papers may also be published in a BNA journal or another employee benefits journal.

Deadline: July 1, 2016

Environmental Law

American Bar Association

The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is sponsoring their Alternative Dispute Resolution Student Writing Competition.  Papers should discuss any aspect of dispute resolution or dispute prevention practice, theory or research related to environmental, energy, or natural resource conflicts or should critique or analyze the dispute resolution process used in a particular case.  First place will receive $1,000; second place will receive $750; and third place will receive $500.

Deadline: April 1, 2016

Environmental Law Institute

The Environmental Law Institute is sponsoring their annual Beveridge & Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition.  The competition includes any topic addressing developments or trends in U.S. environmental law with a significant constitutional, “federalism,” or other cross-cutting component.  The author of the article deemed best by a panel of judges will receive $2000 cash, an offer of publication in the Environmental Law Reporter, and a one-year individual membership to ELI.

Deadline: April 4, 2016

Public Citizen

Public Citizen is sponsoring the The 2016 Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Competition.  Essays may focus on these or other related questions: How do evolving standards of “commonality” affect environmental class actions?; How might major environmental problems that we are facing be amenable to class treatment?; How would these actions be brought? What damage recoveries and other results may be sought?   The winner will receive $5,000 and the winning submission will be posted on the Public Citizen website.

Deadline: April 30, 2016

American Bar Association

The ABA Section of Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is sponsoring their annual Public Land and Resources Writing Competition.  Papers should demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance relating to the topic of the role of public lands and policy. The topic is not confined to any particular type of public lands issue.  First place will receive $1,000; second place will receive $750; and third place will receive $500.

Deadline: May 20, 2016

American Bar Association

The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and resources is sponsoring their Endangered Species and Biodiversity Protection Writing Competition.  Papers  should demonstrate original thought on a question of legal and/or policy significance on any issue related to species conservation law, including endangered and threatened species, biodiversity, habitat conservation, and similar themes.  First place will receive $1,000; second place will receive $750; and third place will receive $500.

Deadline: May 31, 2016

Health Law

Florida State University

FSU is sponsoring the Mollie and Paul Hill Student Writing Competition in Medical-Legal Interprofessional Collaboration. Students must give a response to a question pertaining to collaboration between the medical and legal professions.  This year's question can be viewed on the competition flyer.  First place will receive $250.

Deadline: January 4, 2016  

American College of Legal Medicine

The ACLM is sponsoring the Student Writing Competition in Law, Medicine, and Bioethics.  Papers may deal with any aspect of legal medicine, including medical licensure and regulation of the profession, business aspects of medical practice, liability of physicians, hospitals, managed care organizations, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, public health law, the physician-patient relationship, care of special patients, food and drug law, medical research, forensic science, and the history of legal medicine.  The first place winner will receive $1,000; second place will receive $500; and third place will receive $250.

Deadline: January 5, 2016

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Thomas Jefferson School of Law is sponsoring the Second Annual Jameson Crane III Writing Competition.  Submitted papers may be on any topic relating to disability law including, legal issues arising with respect to employment, government services and programs, public accommodations, education, higher education, housing, and health care.  First place will receive $1,500; two second place winners will receive $1,000 each.

Deadline: January 15, 2016

Epstein Becker Green

EBG is sponsoring their 18th Annual Health Law Writing Competiton Papers may address any traditional area of the law as applied to health care (e.g., antitrust, tax, corporate) or areas of law unique to health care (e.g., fraud and abuse, managed care, Medicare/Medicaid, clinical trials). Entries in the top 20 percent will be considered for publication in the Annals of Health Law, which is published by the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  First place will receive $4,000; second place will receive $2,000; and third place will receive $500.

Deadline: January 16, 2016.

The Food and Drug Law Institute

The FDLI is sponsoring the H. Thomas Austern Memorial Writing Competition.  Papers should provide an in-depth analysis of a current legal issue concerning food, drugs, animal drugs, biologics, cosmetics, diagnostics, dietary supplements, medical devices or tobacco.  First place will receive $5,000; second place will receive $3,000; and third place will receive $1,000.

Deadline: June 10, 2016

Intellectual Property Law

International Trademark Association

The INTA is sponsoring the Ladas Memorial Award.  The subject of the paper must be trademark law or a matter that directly relates to, or affects, trademarks.  Two student winners will each receive U.S. $2,500 and a complimentary registration to the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Deadline: January 8, 2016

New York Intellectual Property Law Association

The NYIPLA is sponsoring the Hon. William C. Conner Intellectual Property Law Writing Competition.  The subject matter must be directed to one of the traditional subject areas of intellectual property, i.e., patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, unfair trade practices and antitrust.  First place will receive $1,500 and the runner-up will receive $1,000.

Deadline: March 6, 2016

Georgia State University College of Law

GSU Law is sponsoring the 4th Annual Intellectual Property Writing Competition.  Papers should address legal issues and challenges in the intellectual property field.  First place will receive $3,000; second place will receive $2,000; and third place will receive $1,000.  First place will also have the option to publish his/her article in the Georgia State Law Review.

Deadline: May 2, 2016

American Intellectual Property Law Association

The AIPLA is sponsoring the Robert C. Watson Award.  Students are encouraged to submit articles on a subject relating to the protection of intellectual property.

Deadline: June 30, 2016

Tax Law

John Marshall Law School is sponsoring their annual Paul Faherty Tax Law Writing Competition.  The subject of the paper may be any topic relating to tax law.  First place will receive $3,000; two honorable mentions will receive $1,000 each.

Deadline: May 16, 2016 

Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship

Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship is sponsoring their Annual Writing Competition.  Submitted papers must focus primarily upon technical or policy-oriented tax issues relating to any type of existing or proposed U.S. federal or state tax or U.S. federal or state taxation system (including topics relating to tax practice ethical and professional responsibility matters).  First place will receive $5,000; second place will receive $2,500; and third place will receive $1,500.

Deadline: July 1,2016

The Legal Profession

American Bar Association

The ABA is sponsoring the Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest For Law Students and Young Lawyers For Innovative Research and Writing on Lawyers' Professional Liability.  The 2016 Contest Essay Hypothetical involves the ethical concerns arising under  the Model Rules of Professional Conduct where a U.S.-based law firm seeks to acquire foreign law firms in an effort to better serve and expand its international client base.  First place receives a cash award of $5,000 and an all expense paid trip to the Spring 2016 National Legal Malpractice Conference in New Orleans, LA, April 27-29, 2016.

Deadline: February 19, 2016

American Inns of Court

The American Inns of Court are sponsoring the annual Warren E. Burger Prize.  Authors should address one or more aspects of excellence in legal skills, civility, ethics or professionalism within the legal profession. The selected issue(s) should be of contemporary significance with clear relevance to the legal community at large.  The winner will receive $5,000 and the essay will be published in South Carolina Law Review.

Deadline: July 1, 2016

Other Areas of Law

The University of Oklahoma College of Law

OU is sponsoring a writing competition for students in any J.D. or graduate law program.  Papers will be accepted on any issue concerning American Indian law or indigenous peoples.  The first place winner will receive $1000 and publication in the American Indian Law Review.  Second and third place will receive $500 and $250, respectively. 

Deadline: 6 p.m. EST on Friday, January 29, 2016

American Bar Association

The ABA's Forum on Construction Law is sponsoring their annual Student Writing Competition.  Students may submit articles on any topic related to construction law.   The winning author receives a $2,000 prize, travel expenses and registration for the next Forum annual meeting (where the winner in introduced and receives a plaque), a one-year Forum membership, recognition in the Forum newsletter, Under Construction, the Forum Flash, and on the Forum's website, plus the opportunity to be published in one of the Forum's two publications, Under Construction or The Construction Lawyer. In addition to the first place winner, one or more authors may be judged a finalist and recognized with a plaque and in Forum publications.

Deadline: January 31, 2016

American Bar Association

The ABA Section of Family Law is sponsoring the Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest.  The primary focus of each essay should be an issue of law, although some interdisciplinary material may be useful in addressing a legal issue. Family law includes dissolution of marriage and other intimate relationships, relationships of persons of the same sex, parentage, custody, child support, division of property, alimony (maintenance), attorney's fees, adoption, dependency, termination of parental rights, rights pertaining to procreation, and alternative dispute resolution of Family Law issues. Family Law generally does not include Juvenile Justice, Probate, Labor, Immigration Law, and sociology topics unless those topics are related to more traditional Family Law subjects.  The first place winner will receive $1,500; second place will receive $750; and third place will receive $350.  All three submissions will be considered for publication in Family Law Quarterly and on the ABA website.

Deadline: Entrants must apply for an entry number by April 15, 2016 and all entries must be sent by 29 April, 2016

American Association of Law Libraries

The AALL, in conjunction with LexisNexis, is sponsoring the 2016 Call for Papers writing competition.  The entry must discuss any topic which is relevant to law librarianship.  First place will receive $650 and the opportunity to present their paper at the 2016 AALL meeting in Chicago.

Deadline: May 16, 2016

Asian Pacific American Bar Education Fund

The AEF is sponsoring the Robert T.Matsui Annual Writing Competition.  Submissions must address a legal topic of importance to the Asian Pacific American community.  The winner will receive a monetary award of fifteen hundred dollars ($1,500), and the winning entry will be published by the UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal (APALJ),  subject to APALJ’s standard editorial process and copyright policy.

Deadline: June 1, 2016

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