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Writing Competitions and Law Student Contests

Law student holding notes.

Get published and win rewards. As a Law Student Division member, you are eligible to participate in ABA law student writing competitions sponsored by ABA specialty groups. Some writing competitions even offer monetary awards and publishing credit.

For more information, please contact the sponsoring entity directly. Need help finding an entity?

ABA Writing Competitions

ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
Entry Deadline: May
Award: Trip to New York City, hotel  for three nights and a $1,500 cash prize.

Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Contest
Entry Deadline: March
Award: $500; round-trip airfare and accommodation to attend the Section’s Fall Conference; and possible publication in Administrative and Regulatory Law News.

ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability and Long & Levit LLP – Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest
Entry Deadline: March 
Award: $5,000 cash prize and an all-expense-paid trip to the Spring 2017 National Legal Malpractice Conference in Boston, MA, April 19-21, 2017

Alternative Dispute Resolution James Boskey Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June
Award: $1,000 and posting on the Section’s website.

Section of Antitrust Law – Law Student Writing Competition
Award: $2,500 and Free admission and round-trip airfare to Spring Meeting,Announcement in upcoming issue of Antitrust, the Section’s magazine and the section’s e-magazine.

Criminal Justice Annual William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: April
Award: $2,500; expense-paid trip to ABA Annual Meeting; and possible publication in Criminal Justice magazine.

Disability Rights Adam A. Milani Writing Competition
Entry deadline: June
Award: $300 to $500; possible publication in the Disability Rights Reporter.

Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: May
Award: Publication in the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law Resolution from the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence and honorarium.

Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Student Writing Competition
Postmarked Deadline: March
Award: Published in an ABA publication, a special combined edition newsletter of the Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources Committee and the Energy and Environmental Markets and Finance Committee.

Family Law Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest
Entry Deadline: April
Award: Possible publication in Family Law Quarterly and complimentary one-year membership in the ABA Section of Family Law.

Law and National Security Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: August
Award: $500; free registration to the 21st Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference (FNSL); air travel and one night’s lodging to FNSL to receive award; and possible publication in the National Security Law Report.

Public Contract Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: September
Award: $5,000; publication in the Public Contract Law Journal; and possible presentation of paper at the Federal Procurement Institute.

Public Utility, Communications and Transportation K. William Kolbe Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June
Award: $2,500; free membership in the Section for one year after graduation; and airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the Section’s Fall Council Group Meeting.

Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Student Writing Contest
Entry Deadline: June
Award: $2,000; expense-paid trip to attend the Section’s Fall Council Meeting; and one-year free Section membership.

State and Local Government Smith-Babcock-Williams Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June
Award: 2,500 and possible publication in The Urban Lawyer.

Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: April
First Place Award: $1,500; airfare and lodging to ABA Annual Meeting; and possible publication in Tort Trial & Insurance Law Journal. Second Place Award: $500. All winners will be announced in the Section’s magazine, The Brief. For more information, rules and criteria, contact Linda Wiley (312.988.5673)

Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: April
Award: $500; financial assistance to attend the ABA Annual Meeting ($500 maximum).

Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: April
Award: $500; financial assistance to attendance the ABA Annual Meeting ($500 maximum).


Other Writing and Essay Contests

Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund (AEF) – Robert T. Matsui Annual Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June
Award: $1,500 and publication in the UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal. Tell me more

Delaware Bar Foundation – Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition
Entry deadline: September 1st
Cash prizes of $2000, $1000 and $500 will be awarded to the top three papers. The first place paper will be published in “Delaware Lawyer” magazine. Tell me more

Chapman LLC Scholarship for Law Students
300-500 word essay contest. A check for $1,000 will be sent to the scholarship recipient’s law school of choice for law school expenses. Entry deadline, Nov. 15, 2016. Winner will be announced on or before Jan. 1, 2017.

National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees Law Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: April
Varies each year. Refer to website for details as they are released.

National Association of Women Lawyers – Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: May
Award: $500 and possible publication in NAWL’s Woman Law Journal.

The National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association
Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: June
Awards: Cash prizes. First-place winner will also receive registration, airfare and lodging to attend the Lavender Law Conference and publication in the Journal of Law and Sexuality at Tulane University Law School.

Hofstra Law School and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Family Law Writing Competition
Article Submission Deadline: March
Award: $500; possible publication in the Family Court Review.

Team Competitions

Practical Skills and Moot Court Competitions

Competitions provide an excellent opportunity for law students to gain important resume-building experience and recognition. Use this opportunity to meet and network with fellow law students—future colleagues—from around the nation

Law Student Division – Arbitration, Client Counseling, National Appellate Advocacy, and Negotiation Competitions
Entry deadlines: September through November (varies by competition)
The Law Student Division annually sponsors four national competitions. These competitions offer participating students a forum to develop the very skills they will use as practitioners.

Criminal Justice National Trial Advocacy Competition
Entry Deadline: September
Sponsored in conjunction with The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, tests the mettle of aspiring courtroom lawyers.

Dispute Resolution Law Student National Representation in Mediation Competition
Entry Deadline: January
Designed to acquaint law student participants with advocacy skills in alternative dispute resolution processes, specifically mediation. Law students are judged on how well they model appropriate preparation for and representation of a client in mediation.

Environment, Energy, and Resources and the Environmental Law Institute – Pace Law School’s National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
Entry Deadline: September
Tests skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy on issues drawn from real cases, providing experience in environmental litigation first hand.

Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition
Entry Deadline: October
Designed to provide law students with the opportunity to develop their trial advocacy skills in a mock courtroom experience.

Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge
Entry deadline: December
As an alternative to traditional moot court competitions, two-person teams solve a cutting-edge and complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice news.

Law Student Division Competitions

Learn more about the ABA's four national law student competitions.

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