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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?

Dates on competitions change yearly. Please click on each link for the latest and most up-to-date information. For competitions that have taken place for this calendar year, estimated yearly entry dates are provided.

ABA Writing Competitions

Antitrust Law

Armed Forces Law

  • Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law
    Entry Deadline: November 11, 2022
    Award: Up to $750 in reimbursements paid for travel/accommodation expenses to attend the ABA Midyear Meeting; acknowledged and published on SCAFL’s website.

Consumer Protection Committee

Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability

Business Law

Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS)

Family Law

  • Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest
    Entry Deadline: April 9, 2021
    Award: First, second, and third-place winners are awarded monetary prizes, as well as publication of the winning entries on the Section’s website, and more!

Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

Environment, Energy, & Resources

  • Energy Law Writing Competition
    2021 Entry Deadline: May 31
    Award: First place: $1,000 cash prize, second place: $750 cash prize, third place: $500 cash prize

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
    2020 Entry Deadline: Mid-July
    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
    On Hiatus for the 2020-2021 School Year
    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

Roy Snell Health Care Regulatory and Compliance Writing Competition
Health Law Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Entry deadline: February 1, 2022
Award: $5,000, $3,000, $1,500 prizes, paid registration and $1,500 in travel reimbursement for the 2023 HCCA Annual Compliance Institute.

Center for Alcohol Policy National Essay Contest
Entry deadline:
January 8, 2021
Award: 1st place, $5,000. 2nd place, $2,500. 3rd place, $1,000.

CLCT Innovative Legal Issues Likely To Arise From Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things Writing Competition
Entry deadline: December 20, 2020
Award: First place $2,500, second place $1,500 and third place $1,000. The winners will also have the unique opportunity of presenting their papers to a selected audience of executives from Cisco Systems, Inc.

Center for Alcohol Policy Annual Essay Contest
Entry deadline: January 8, 2021
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.

Hofstra Law School and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Family Law Writing Competition
2020 Entry Deadline: Mid-February
Award: $500; possible publication in the Family Court Review.

Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition
2020 Entry deadline: Mid-July
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
2020 Entry Deadline: Late April
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
2021 Deadline: TBA
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
2020 Entry Deadline: Late June
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
2020 Entry Deadline: Early July
Award: $1,500 and publication in the UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal.

ChapmanAlbin LLC Scholarship for Law Students
Entry Deadline: June 15, 2022
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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