Student Affairs

Student Affairs

Writing Competitions

Competitions are listed by chronologically by deadline date.

2017

January

Pacific Legal Foundation 2016–17 Law Student Writing Competition
Sponsor: PLF's Program for Judicial Awareness
More Information: Website
Email: pja@pacificlegal.org
Topic: Entries must address one of PLF's topic questions to be eligible for prizes.
  1. The Clean Water Act was passed to improve the quality and biological health of the waters of the United States. Federal courts have struggled to clarify the meaning of "waters of the United States" and the jurisdiction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which are tasked with enforcing aspects of the law. Does the "waters of the United States" rule recently proposed by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers accurately describe the reach of Congress's commerce power? If so, explain why. If not, explain how a judge should determine the outer boundary of Congress's power.
  2. In Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997), the Supreme Court reaffirmed Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co., 325 U.S. 410 (1945), for its proposition that judges must defer to an agency interpretation of its own ambiguous regulation unless that interpretation is plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation. What are the best arguments against that rule?
  3. All state governments regulate and license certain occupations for the stated purpose of protecting the public from health and safety risks. An increasing number of licensed occupations consist mainly, or even entirely, of advice (e.g., tour guides, real estate advertisers, and providers of individually tailored information online or in print, such as diet plans, parenting tips, or veterinary guidance). How should courts draw the line between regulating professional conduct (typically subject to rational basis review under the Fourteenth Amendment) and free speech protected by the First Amendment?
  4. Takings litigants are generally prohibited from bringing takings claims for just compensation in federal court unless they have first sought (and been denied) relief in state court. This de facto abstention doctrine arises from the Supreme Court's holding in Williamson Cty. Reg'l Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172 (1985), and subsequent interpretations of the case by federal circuit courts, and departs from the general rule that one need not exhaust state court remedies before presenting a federal constitutional claim in federal court. Should the Supreme Court reconsider Williamson County's holding that one may not present a takings claim for just compensation in federal court unless on has first litigated the matter in state court? Why or why not?
Award: The first place winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize. The second place winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize and the third place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize. The winner will also be recognized at the Annual Pacific Legal Foundation Gala. PLF will pay for the winner's reasonable travel costs to attend the gala and will assist with travel arrangements.
Deadline: Submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m. (PST) on January 13, 2017
James Crane III Writing Competition
Sponsor: Jameson Crane III (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)
More Information: Website
Email: cranewritingcompetition@tjsl.edu
Topic: 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.
Award:
  1. The winner of the competition will receive a $1,500 cash prize and the Thomas Jefferson Law Review (TJLR) will consider the paper for publication under the TJLR's editorial standards.
  2. Two second place winners will each receive a $1,000 cash prize.
Deadline: January 15, 2017 PST by 12:00PM
American Indian Law Review Writing Competition
Sponsor: The University of Oklahoma
More Information: Website
Email: rebekah.martin@ou.edu
Topic: Papers will be accepted on any issue concerning American Indian law or indigenous peoples. However, topics recently published in the American Indian Law Review will not be favored
Award: The first place winner receives $1,000 and publication in the American Indian Law Review, an official periodical of the University of Oklahoma College of Law with international distribution. The second place winner receives $500, and third place receives $250. Each of the three winning authors will also be awarded an eBook copy of Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, provided by LexisNexis, and will be recognized on the masthead of the American Indian Law Review.
Deadline: All electronic entries must be received no later than 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Any hardcopy entries must be postmarked by that date.

February

Family Law Writing Competition
Sponsor: The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Email: fcr@hofstra.edu
Topic: The subject of entries may be within any area of family law, although topics that focus on international or interdisciplinary subjects of family law are especially encouraged. Articles should concentrate on a current legal issue and must have a strong foundation in legal research. Use of interdisciplinary sources may also be appropriate for many topics.
Award: First Prize
  • $500 cash prize courtesy of the Center for Children, Families and the Law at Hofstra Law.
  • Certificate of recognition as first-place winner.
  • Consideration for publication of the article in the Family Court Review
  • Letter to the dean of the student's law school.
  • One-year complimentary AFCC student membership, including a one-year subscription to the Family Court Review
OR
  • Complimentary conference registration to AFCC's 54th Annual Conference, held May 31–June 3, 2017, in Boston. (Does not include hotel, transportation and food).
  • Honorable Mention (Up to two)
  • $250 cash prize courtesy of the Center for Children, Families and the Law at Hofstra Law.
  • Certificate of recognition as the honorable-mention winner.
  • Consideration for publication of the article in the Family Court Review
  • Letter to the dean of the student's law school.
Deadline: February 1, 2017

March

Brogdon Champion, LLC Law School Essay Contest
Sponsor: Brogdon Champion, LLC
More Information: Website
Email: scholarships@brogdonchampion.com
Topic: The topics for the essay contest can be any ethical issue that arises in the context of representing plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death cases. The essay should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words.
Award:
  • The first place winner will receive $2,500 and publication on our firm's website.
  • The second place winner will receive $1,000.
Deadline: March 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.
Ninth Annual Bankruptcy Law Student Writing Competition
Sponsor: Blank Rome LLP
More Information: Website
Email: papers@abiworld.org
Topic: The competition invites papers on current issues regarding bankruptcy jurisdiction, bankruptcy litigation, or evidence in bankruptcy cases or proceedings. The paper may address business or consumer cases and may include matters such as bankruptcy sales, plan confirmation and other topics that involve jurisdiction, litigation or evidence in the bankruptcy courts.
Award:
  1. The First Place Winner, sponsored by Blank Rome, LLP, will receive a prize of $2,000, plus publication of his or her paper in the prestigious ABI Journal.
  2. The Second Place Winner will receive a cash prize of $1,250, plus publication of his or her paper in an ABI committee newsletter.
  3. The Third Place Winner will receive a cash prize of $750, plus publication of his or her paper in an ABI committee newsletter.
Deadline: March 1, 2017
Why Pipeline Programs Targeting Students from Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Backgrounds are Essential to the Future of the Legal Profession
Sponsor: The Law School Admission Council's Diversity Committee
Email: DiversityOffice@LSAC.org
Topic: Why Pipeline Programs Targeting Students from Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Backgrounds Are Essential to the Future of the Legal Profession
Award: One winning paper will be selected from each of the three (3) qualifying categories of eligible students (1L, 2L, 3L/4L). Each winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and the winning essays will be posted at DiscoverLaw.org. In addition, one winning paper will be submitted for publication in the Journal of Legal Education or similar publication.
Deadline: Friday, March 31, 2017 5PM EST

April

Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest
Sponsor: Toledo Bar Association and the Ohio Bar Foundation
More Information: Website
Email: familylaw@americanbar.org
Topic: The subject may be any aspect of family law. The primary focus of each essay should be an issue of law, although some interdisciplinary material may be useful in addressing a legal issue.
Award: First Place
  • $1,500.00
  • Certificate of Recognition as First-Place Winner
  • Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly
  • Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA Section of Family Law website
  • Letter to Law School Dean
  • One-year complimentary ABA Section of Family Law membership
Second Place
  • $750.00
  • Certificate of Recognition as Second-Place Winner
  • Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly
  • Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA Section of Family Law website
  • Letter to Law School Dean
  • One-year complimentary ABA Section of Family Law membership
Third Place
  • $350.00
  • Certificate of Recognition as Third-Place Winner
  • Consideration of essay's publication in Family Law Quarterly
  • Consideration of essay's publication on the ABA Section of Family Law website
  • Letter to Law School Dean
  • One-year complimentary ABA Section of Family Law membership
Deadline: April 14, 2017

May

Tax Analysts Student Writing Competition
Sponsor: Tax Analysts
More Information: Website
Email: studentwritingcomp@taxanalysts.org
Topic: Students should be enrolled in a law, business, or public policy program. Papers must be between 2,500 and 12,000 words and focus on an unsettled question in federal, international, or U.S. state tax law or policy. Entries are blindly evaluated by our editorial staff primarily on the basis of: originality, readability, organization, reasoning, and overall quality of content.
Award: Publish a paper in Tax Notes, State Tax Notes, or Tax Notes International and receive a 12-month online subscription to all of these weekly magazines after graduation
Deadline: May 31, 2017