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Writing Competitions and 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

Antitrust Law

Consumer Protection Committee

Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability

Business Law

Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS)

Family Law

Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

Environment, Energy, & Resources

Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section

Real Property, Trust & Estate

Commission on Disability Rights

Section of Dispute Resolution

Criminal Justice

Forum on Construction Law

  • ABA Forum on Construction Law’s Law Student Writing Competition
    Entry Deadline: July 26
    Award: Cash prize of $2,000; travel expenses and registration to attend the next fall meeting of the ABA Forum on Construction Law (where a first prize plaque will be presented); a one-year membership in the Forum and recognition in both the Forum newsletter, Under Construction, and on the Forum’s website.

Law & National Security

  • Law and National Security Writing Competition
    Entry Deadline: August 31
    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

Health Law

Other Writing and Essay Contests

D.C. Bar Law Student Community Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: November 25

Award: The winner will receive a cash prize and publication of an abstract of their submission in a spring edition of the Washington Lawyer. The full version of the paper will be published on the D.C. Bar website. The second-place acknowledgment, or runner-up, will also have their submission published on the D.C. Bar Website.

Center for Alcohol Policy Annual Essay Contest
Entry deadline: December 7
Award: Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in the amounts of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 respectively.

Artificial Intelligence Writing Competition
Entry deadline: December 20
Award: J.D., L.L.M., & Doctoral Students – $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second; $1,000 for third.

Hofstra Law School and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Family Law Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: February 15
Award: $500; possible publication in the Family Court Review.

Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition
Entry deadline: April 16
Awards: The winner will receive a $500 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses to attend the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting. Winning and runner-up entries will be invited to submit their entries to Unbound, the official journal of Legal History and Rare Books.

National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: April 30
Award: The author of the first-place essay will receive a $1000.00 cash prize. The winning essay will be published in the NACTT Quarterly – The Quarterly Journal of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees. The winner will also receive free registration and a room for the 2019 NACTT annual seminar in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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.

California Supreme Court Historical Society Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June 30
Award: $2,500 cash prize and an opportunity to be published via the Association’s website. $500 for second place, $250 for third.

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

Delaware Bar Foundation – Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition
Entry deadline: September 15
Award: 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.

Chapman LLC Scholarship for Law Students
Entry Deadline: November 15
Award: A check for $1,000 will be sent to the scholarship recipient’s law school of choice for law school expenses.

Law Student Division Competitions

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

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