Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Current Students > Office of Student Life > Writing Competitions

2017–2018 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, Hutchins Hall 316. 

Contact: Trudy Feldkamp, 316 Hutchins Hall.


The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel is pleased to announce the Fourteenth Annual Employee Benefits Writing Prize.

Subject: Any topic in the field of employee benefits law.

Eligibility: Any J.D. and graduate (L.L.M. or S.J.D.) law students enrolled at any time between August 15, 2017 and August 15, 2018.

DEADLINEJune 1, 2018

PRIZES: Alvin D. Lurie Memorial Award, $1,500 and Sidney M. Perlstadt Memorial Award, $1,500

Please visit the website for additional information and complete writing prize rules, or in the Law School Office of Student Life, 316 Hutchins Hall.


CELS will consider empirical papers spanning all areas of empirical legal studies.  Authors are encouraged to submit works-in-progress; however, submissions should be completed drafts that include principal results.  Submitted papers must be unpublished (and expected to be unpublished at the time of the conference, November 9-10, 2018).  If accepted, authors will have an opportunity to submit a revised draft prior to the conference for presentation and discussion.  Please note that accepted papers will be made available to all conference participants.

To submit a paper, please go to the CELS 2018 Conference pageDeadline for paper submissions is June 22, 2018.

The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce the twenty-fifth annual Brown Award.  The Award is in recognition of Excellence in Legal Writing in American Law School.  Any law student currently enrolled in an accredited law school in the United States seeking a J.D. or LL.B degree is eligible to submit a paper for the Award.  

PRIZES: First Place, $10,000; Second Place, $5,000; Third Place, $3,000; Finalist (2), $1,000; and, $5,000 to the Scholarship Fund selected by the Dean of the law school in which the First Place candidate is enrolled.

In order to be considered, two copies of a current legal writing must be submitted to the Foundation c/o Kenneth G. Engerrand, Brown Sims, P.C., Tenth Floor, 1177 West Loop South, Houston, Texas 77027-9007.  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 submission must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2018.  The submission 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 student's sponsor.  There is no page limitation or restriction on the topic except that the writing must be on a legal subject.  The Foundation will appoint a final judging panel consisteing of a law school dean, a federal judge, and a law school professor.  The Foundation will not return any material submitted to the Foundation.  The 2018 recipient of the Brown Award will be notified by November 2, 2018, and listed with the other finalists at the website

This competition is open to articles written while the author is an active student at an accredited law school in the United States. Authors may not have graduated from law school prior to December 1, 2017. Graduate students in law school (LLM candidates) are not eligible. Entries should address aspects of public or private sector labor and /or employment law relevant to the American labor and employment bar. Students are encouraged to discuss novel issues, innovative ideas, or fresh perspectives on the following areas affecting labor and employment in the U.S. and/or abroad that would be noteworthy to the U.S.: a public policy issue; practical implications of a leading case or doctrine; a statute or the need for statutory modification; or a common law doctrine.  Articles may address U.S. law, international law of relevance to U.S. labor and employment attorneys, or how a legal topic is treated in states across the country. Papers limited to the law of a single state will not be considered.  Papers must be analytical in nature, not merely a summary of the law. Students must present and discuss competing points of view with respect to the issue addressed and must distinguish their conclusions from opposing positions with sound logic and reference to multiple primary and secondary sources. We discourage students from writing articles about a recent Supreme Court decision or a case pending before the Supreme Court, unless the article is novel and focuses upon case law or statutory developments subsequent to the Supreme Court's decision.

PRIZES: First Place: $3,000; Second Place: $1,000, and Third Place: $500.  The first-place winning article may be selected for publication in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law. In addition, the author of the first-place paper will be a guest at the annual Continuing Legal Education program of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and honored at the Annual Induction Dinner of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. The College and the Section reserve the right not to select any article for publication or award any prizes if, in their judgment, the submissions do not meet their standards for outstanding legal writing.

Rules and judging criteria can be found on the College website or in the Office of Student Life, 316 Hutchins Hall.

DEADLINE: Articles must be submitted via email by midnight (EDT) on June 15, 2018.  Please see the website for submission guidelines.

The Foundation for Continuing Justice and the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates are pleased to announce the second Annual Criminal Record Policy Essay Competiton and Scholarship for law students.  The competition is inteded to expand the awareness of consequences of criminal records and the laws that govern thie rretention, dissemination and expungement, as well as to encourage research into the ways to improve related laws.

TOPICS (Choose One): 1) How to improve expungement related laws in (state of your choice); 2) When, if ever, should government stop reporting criminal records to the public?; 3) What affects do criminal records have on former offenders ability to re-assimilate?

GUIDELINES, ELIGIBILITY, DETAILS, and other information may be found at the competition website.  

PRIZES: First Place, $2,000; Second Place, $1,000; Third Place, $300, Honorable Mention, $200

DEADLINE for submission: June 30, 2018.

A flyer is on file in the Office of Student Life, 316 Hutchins Hall.

2018 GREENHALGH WRITING COMPETITION American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section

This Competition is sponsored by Criminal Justice ("Section") of the American Bar Association ("ABA"), 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 (the "Sponsor").  The goals of the Competition are to encourage law students to become involved in the Section. It is also intended to attract students to the Criminal Justice practice field and to encourage scholarship in this field. Each entrant must follow the rules of the competition.

ELIGIBILITY: The contest is open to students who, on the date the entry is submitted, attend and are in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school within the United States and its possessions.  Membership in the Section is not a requirement. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and legal permanent residents or citizens of the United States.  Employees, officers, directors of the ABA and members of their immediate families are not eligible.

TOPIC: The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." This provision is a powerful protector of privacy rights for individuals. Despite this, the one-sentence amendment is vague, and what constitutes reasonableness has been left to the judicial branch for interpretation.

With technological innovations comes the potential for law enforcement to develop new tools to investigate and prosecute crimes. Today, law enforcement officers, attorneys, and courts are challenged by the constitutional implications of emerging technologies that were not contemplated in the 18th century when the Fourth Amendment was drafted.

One such tool is the "cell-site simulator," also known as the "IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catcher," "stingray," "triggerfish," or "swamp box." The device operates by mimicking the signal of a cell phone tower to mobile phones in a given neighborhood. The phones respond, providing their ID numbers. Once a phone is connected to the simulator, the operator can pinpoint its location with an error margin of only a few feet. This process can transpire without the knowledge of the phone user or the third-party network carrier.

Contestants should address the questions on file in the Office of Student Life, 316 Hutchins Hall. Also on file is the formatting requirements, judging criteria, prize information, submission requirements, and other pertinent information. 

DEADLINE: All entries must be received no later than July 1, 2018, 11:59 p. CST.  Faxed entries will not be accepted.


Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannenwald Writing Competition is open to all full or part-time law school students. Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules.

DEADLINE: 9:00 p.m. EDT, July 6, 2018

Mail and e-mail papers to: Tannenwald Foundation, 700 Sixth Street, NW, STE. 700, Washington, DC 20001, Attn: Sandie Kiedrowski (

CASH PRIZES: $5,000, $2,500, and $1,500 for the top three papers.

For more information, visit the website or contact Nancy Abramowitz at 202-274-4164 (