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2015–2016 Writing Competitions

Arranged chronologically by entry deadline. Additional information about these competitions and awards may be found in a binder located in the Office of Student Life, 316 Hutchins Hall, contact Trudy Feldkamp.


Seventh Annual religious liberty student writing competition

To promote legal and academic studies in the field of religious liberty by law students and students pursuing related graduate studies.  Students who have graduated from law school but who are not yet practicing law due to clerkships or other similar pursuits are also invited to submit papers.  Sponsored by the Washington, D.C. mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the Internationsl Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
TOPIC:  Scholarly paper relating to the topic of domestic or international religious liberty, broadly or narrowly construed, consisting of 9,000-13,000 words, including footnotes.     
AWARDS: First Place $4,000 cash award; Second Place $3,000 cash award; Third Place $2,000 cash award; Honorable Mention four $1,000 cash awards. Awards will be presented at the Religious Liberty Award Dinner in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 6, 2016 
Submission Guidelines: All papers must be submitted by email to in pdf and/or docx formats.  A current resume should also be included.  You will receive email confirmation of your submittions.  Questions regarding submission may be directed to  Papers are to be 9,000-13,000 words, including footnotes. Eligible papers must be typed, thoroughly cited and presented in a format suitable for publication, with no additional editing required.  Papers must conform to Bluebook requirements and may include footnotes.  Papers prepared for academic coursework are permitted.
DEADLINES: July 1, 2016

the judge john r. brown award for excellence in legal writing

The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce the twenty-third annual Brown Award. The award is in recognition of Excellence in Legal Writing in American Law Schools. The 2015 Award was presented to Michael Clemente, Yale Law School, for his paper, A Reassessment of Common Law Protections for "Idiots."
TOPIC: Any legal subject, no page limit.    
AWARD: $10,000
ELIGIBILITY: Any law student currently enrolled in an accredited law school in the U.S. seeking a J.D. or LL.B degree is eligible to submit a paper for the award.
Submission Guidelines: Two copies of a current legal writing must be submitted to:

The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation
c/o Kenneth G. Engerrand, Brown Sims, P.C.,
1177 West Loop South, Tenth Floor
Houston, Texas 77027

The article must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a law school faculty member or legal professional other than the author of the paper. Only one paper may be submitted on behalf of any student and only one paper may be sponsored by any faculty member or legal professional.
The student's package must contain a separate sheet containing the title of the paper, the name, physical address, telephone number, and email address of the student; and the name, title, physical address, and email address of the sponsor.
The final judging panel will consist of a law school dean, a federal judge, and a law school professor. The Foundation will not return any material submitted.
DEADLINES: Submissions must be postmarked no later than August 19, 2016, The 2016 recipient of the Brown Award will be notified by January 31, 2017, and listed with other finalists at
This is a writing competition for students interested in Securities Arbitration and Securities Law, sponsored by The PIABA Foundation. 
TOPIC: The submission may address any aspect of Seccurities la, Securities arbitration; The Federal Arbitration Act, Title 9, US Code, Section 1014; or FINRA Code of Arbitration, effective April 16, 2007 and any changes or proposed changes to that Code.  The writing can be based in theory or practice, but should ultimately advocate a position on the topic area chosen.
ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to all students who attend a law school in the United States.  Full-time students who are not law students but who write law-related papers as part of a course at an American law school are also eligible.  Employees of PIABA (except for students working less than 20 hours per week) are not eligible to enter the competition.
CRITERIA AND JUDGING:  All entries will be judged anonymously by the Competition Judges, who will select the winning submission(s).  The PIABA Foundation  will notifiy the award winner(s) in early October.  The Judges reserve the right not to award any prizes if it is determined that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit selection that year.
Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: quality of research and authority provided; accuracy and clarity of the analysis; compliance with legal writing standards and technical quality of writing, including organization, grammar, syntax, and form.  Strong preference will be given to articles that advocate pro-investor positions, provide updates on or surveys of securities or ADR law, and/or are consistent with The PIABA Foundation's mission of promoting the education and interests of the public investor in securities and commodities arbitration, protecting public investors from abuses in the  arbitration process, and making securities and commodities fair through legislative reforms to arbitration forum providers.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES AND DEADLINE:  Text must be double-spaced, with twelve-point font and one-inch margins.  Any Question(s) Presented section, the Statement of the Facts / Statement of the Law section, the Argument section, and/or the Conclusion together are a minimum of 15 pages and a maximum of 30 pages.  If the submission covers both a topic among those listed above and a topic not listed above, only the topic listed above will be evaluated.  Submissions will not be penalized for arguing a position that would limit investor rights rather than expand them.
Entries must be received through no later than 5 pm central on September 16, 2016.  The contestant's name and other identifying markings such as school name are not to be on any copy of the submitted entry.  The PIABA Foundation will assign a random number to each entry and will record this number on all copies of each submission.  Neither the contestant's identity nor his or her academic institution will be known to any Competititon Judge.  Each entrant may submit only one entry.  The form and these rules also appear on The PIABA Foundation website.  From the home page select 2016 James E. Beckley Securities Arbitration and Law Writing Competition.
DEADLINE:  September 16, 2016.  The first place winner is invited to accept the James E. Beckley Writing Competition in-person during the Pesident's Dinner a the PIABA Annual Meeting on October 28, 2016.  2nd - 3rd places, and Honorable Mention(s) are announced at that time as well.
Additional information may be found at


Expert institute's annual legal writing scholarship

Clear, effective writing is the cornerstone of an exceptional lawyer, and a vital area of education for aspiring attorneys.  While traditional forms of legal writing like case briefs and contracts endure, the internet has given legal professionals a new
medium of communication that demands mastery as well.  Blog posts are a new way for attorneys to educate and persuade, and to participate in a broader legal discourse with their peers.  In recognition of the importance of online legal writing, The Expert Institute
is offering a $2,000 scholarship for the best legal blog post written by a law student.  
TOPIC:  Best legal blog post written by a j.d. student on the topic of the use of expert 
witnesses in litigation.     
AWARDS: $2,000 cash award and publication on The Expert Institute's blog and
weekly newsletter. 
Submission Guidelines: All articles must be submitted via  Submissions are to be 1,500-2,500 words in length, and written in blog post format.  Specific case references are required, and the article must contain specific examples.  Must be an unpublished, original submission.  Submission must include full name of author (first, middle, and last), contact information, including email address and phone number; school name and mailing address; a .doc or .docx file containing the article.  PDF's and other document formats are not acceptable.
DEADLINES: December 31, 2016



The COFECE is committed to fulfilling its mission of guaranteeing free market entry and competition in the Mexican economy.  COFECE acknowledges that many areas of scientific inquiry provide important insights into how markets work, and may therefore contriute to improving the implementation of competition policy in our country.

There is one category for this award: "Academic research related to the working of markets".  The purpose of the award is to encourage researchers and postgraduate students to approach this topic.  The theses studied may be addressed from a diversity of perspectives including, but not limited to, those of economics, law and political science.  Researchers of all nationalities are welcome to participate.  All registered work, however, must be written in Spanish.

Prospective participants may register their work until May 28th, 2017.  The prizes for the first and second places are $200,000 Mexican Pesos (approx. $10,000 USD) and $70,000 Mexican Pesos (approx. $3,700 USD).  In addition, the jury (comprised of representatives from prestigious Mexican academic and publc institutions) is entitled to award as many as three Honourable Mentions.  The call for submissions (in Spanish only) is available at:


Any questions need to be directed to the competition organizers listed on the website.

DEADLINE:  May 28, 2017

PLF's Program for Judicial Awareness promotes the publication of works of legal academic scholarship that advance an understanding of key constitutional issues before the nation's courts.  Essays submitted to the writing competition address one of four questions on areas of the law within PLF's mission, incorporating pertinent case law and applicable academic literature.
TOPIC:  The reach of Congress's commerce power with reference to the Environmental  Protection Agency's controversial "waters of the United States" rule; judicial deference to government agency rules; the impact of occupational licensing on professionals' freedom of speech; and the Williamson County doctrine, which creates procedural obstales to property owners seeking just compensation for government takings. 
AWARDS:  First place, $5,000 cash prize and will be recognized at the annual Pacific Legal Foundation gala; Second place, $3,000 cash prize; Third place, $1,000 cash prize.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:  The essay questions and detailed information about eligibility rules and contest requirements are available on the website.  
DEADLINE:  No later than 5:00 p.m. (PST) on January 13, 2017