Writing Competitions

Many organizations throughout the country, and the world, sponsor writing competitions for law students.  The competitions typically focus on a particular area of the law.  Participating in a writing competition is a great way to explore an area of interest and to hone your writing skills.  As a bonus, the competitions often grant cash prizes, travel opportunities, or publication opportunities for the winning essays.  For more information feel free to contact Professor Rachel Smith ( or view the table below.

Legal Writing Competions.
Topic Sponsor Competition Name Submission Deadline Website Link 1st Prize Value
Entertainment/Sports Law Recording Academy & ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sprots Industries Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition January 2, 2019 $10,000
Federalism McGill University's Faculty of Law and the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism Baxter Family Competition on Federalism January 14, 2019 $5,000
Health Law American College of Legal Medicine Hirsh Award January 15, 2019 $1,000
Legal Writing Mensa Education & Research Foundation Essay Contest January 15, 2019 $3,000
Workers' Compensation Law The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers  Writing Competition for Law Students January 15, 2019 $2,000
Tax Law Federal Bar Association Section of Taxation Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition January 17, 2019 $2,000
Women's Studies/Feminism University of Leicester Victoria Fisher Memorial Prize Essay  January 17, 2019  Ã £250.00
Intellectual Property International Trademark Association Ladas Memorial Award January 19, 2019 $2,500
Labor & Employment Law IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Louis Jackson National Student Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law January 23, 2019 $3,000
Health Law Epstein, Becker & Green Health Care and Life Sciences Law Writing Competition January 25, 2019 $4,000
Antitrust ABA Section of Antitrust Law Law Student Writing Competition January 31, 2019 $2,500
Environmental Law Ohio State Bar Association and McMahon DeGulis LLP Ohio State Bar Association Environmental Law Award January 31, 2019 $1,000
Native American Law or Indigenous Peoples American Indian Law Review University of Oklahoma College of Law American Indian Law Writing Competition January 31, 2019 $1,000
Reproductive Justice Law Students for Reproductive Justice Sarah Weddington Prize for New Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights January 31, 2019 $750
Family Law Association of Family & Conciliation Courts/Hofstra Family Law Writing Competition February 1, 2019 $500
Human Rights Academy on Human Rights & Humanitarian Law American University Human Rights Essay Award Competition February 1, 2019 Conference expenses
International Business Law Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems:  A Journal of the University of Iowa College of Law Trandafir International Business Writing Competition February 1, 2019 $2,000
Administrative Law American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law February 3, 2019 $1,500
Constitutional Law American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition February 10, 2019 $3,000
Business Law ABA Section of Business Law Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest February 15, 2019 $1,000
Business Law New York State Bar Association Business Law Section Business Law Section Annual Law Student Writing Competition February 15, 2019 $2,000
Ethics/Professional Responsibility ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest February 15, 2019 $5,000
Intellectual Property New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) Hon. William C. Conner Writing Competition March 4, 2019 $1,500
Housing Law ABA Section of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law Affordable Housing & Community Development Law Writing Competition March 8, 2019 $1,000
Scholarship Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation Scholarships for Hispanic Law Students March 8, 2019 $$
Scholarship  American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation Sidney V. Williams, Jr. Scholarship March 15, 2019 $10,000
Bankruptcy Law American Bankruptcy Institute Bankruptcy Law Student Writing Competition March 18, 2019 $2,000
Technology Law Berkeley Technology Law Journal Berkeley Technology Law Journal Student Writing Competition March 27, 2019 $1,000
Labor & Employment Law Ohio State Bar Association Section on Labor and Employment Law Student Writing Competition March 30, 2019 $3,000
International Insolvency International Insolvency Institute Prize in International Insolvency Studies March 31, 2019 $3,000
Scholarship Fitch Law Partners LLP Scholarships for Students  April 1, 2019 $1,500
Scholarship (Animal Law) Animal Legal Defense Fund Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships April 1, 2019 $5,000
Environmental Law Environmental Law Institute (ELI) Beveridge & Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition April 8, 2019 $2,000
Family Law ABA Section of Family Law Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest April 12, 2019 $1,500
Tax Law John Marshall Law School Paul Faherty Tax Law Writing Competition April 13, 2019 $3,000
Legal History American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition April 15, 2019 $500
Health Law Virginia State Bar Health Law Section Student Writing Competition April 26, 2019 $1,500
Ethics/Professional Responsibility Notre Dame Law School Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition April 26, 2019 $2,500
Bankruptcy Law National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees Annual Law Student Writing Competition April 30, 2019 $1,000
Gun Violence Public Citizen  Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Contest April 30, 2019 $5,000
Lesbian, Gay, Bi, & Trans. Legal Issues National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Bar Association Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition May 15, 2019 $1,000
Employment Benefits American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Annual Employee Benefits Writing Competition June 3, 2019 $1,500
Labor & Employment Law The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers/ABA College of Labor and Employment Lawyers -- Writing Competition for Law Students June 15, 2019 $3,000
Civil Liberties Chicago-Kent College of Law Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize July 1, 2019 $10,000
Ethics/Professional Responsibility American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Writing Competition July 1, 2019 $5,000
Scholarship Appel Law Firm LLP Auto Accident Law Firm Survivor Scholarship August 1, 2019 $1,000
Business Law New York State Bar Association Business Law Section Business Law Section Annual Law Student Writing Competition August 15, 2019 $2,000
Scholarship The Baumgartner Law Firm  Baumgartner Law Firm Law Student Scholarship August 31, 2019 $3,000
Scholarship American Association of University Women Educational Foundation AAUW Educational Foundation Selected Professions Fellowships December 1, 2019 $5,000-$18,000
    Out of date competitions are listed so you can plan proactively for the next round of these competitions.  Many competitions are annual or biennial.