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2019–2020 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.

2020 Donald M. Ephraim Prize in Law and Economics

Established in 2015 by Donald M. Ephraim, JD ’55, the Ephraim Prize honors the most-deserving paper in law and economics or empirical legal analysis by a law school student. The prize is awarded on an annual basis, and starting in 2019, the winning essays will receive up to a cash prize of up to $10,000. The winning essays are also published in The University of Chicago Law Review Online

ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to all current law students (Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022) from any ABA-accredited American law school. However, only current tenure-track professors at ABA-accredited American law schools may nominate a student's work for the competition. While submissions are limited to one per person, professors may nominate as many students as they see fit. All entries must be original, unpublished academic work. The submission may not be submitted for consideration for publication in another journal during the judging period and must be an unpublished work at the time of submission.

DEADLINE: The submission page for the Donald M. Ephraim Prize is now open and will accept papers until the deadline. The deadline for submissions is Monday, June 1, 2020, at 5:00 PM CST. Please submit entries here.

PRIZES: Up to $10,000 will be awarded annually for exemplary scholarship that apply the tools of law and economics. The essays can be published in The University of Chicago Law Review Online.


The ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers are pleased to announce their 2020 writing competition.

ELIGIBILITY: Active students at an accredited law school in the United States.  Authors may not have graduated from law school prior to December 1, 2019.  Graduate students in law school (LLM candidates) are not eligible.

DEADLINE: Articles must be submitted to, using the subject line "Writing Competition," by midnight (EDT) on June 15, 2020.

PRIZES: First place, $3,000; Second place, $1,000; Third place, $500.

For further information, including all rules, entry requirements, judging criteria, or questions, please see competition website.


The Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) is a nonprofit member organization that has been providing education, training, publications, and professional engagement opportunities since it was founded in 1949. Each year, our organization hosts the H. Thomas Austern Writing Competition for law students interested in areas of the law impacting FDA-regulated industries. The 2020 competition is now open.


Overview and Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students currently enrolled in a JD program at any of the nation’s ABA-accredited law schools and 2019-2020 academic year graduates are eligible to participate.
  • Original scholarship, including papers originally written for classwork or to fulfill school requirements, may be submitted as long as the paper is not published or accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • All entries should be within the scope of FDA-regulated industries, such as food, drugs, medical devices, tobacco and nicotine products, cannabis, cosmetics, veterinary drugs and devices, etc.
  • Winners are awarded a complimentary one-year FDLI membership.
  • Top entries receive $750 for first place, $500 for second, and $250 for third.
  • Top papers will be considered for publication in the Food and Drug Law Journal.
  • Winners will be featured on FDLI’s website and in Update magazine.
  • A committee comprised of FDLI members who are practicing attorneys and law professors will judge the papers. 

More information, as well as a link for students to submit their papers, can be found on FDLI’s website. The Austern Competition is an excellent opportunity for food and drug law students all over the country.


FDLI is accepting submissions until Friday, June 19th. Students who would like their manuscripts entered for consideration should register and submit them through our portal before this deadline. 

If any student would like to submit an entry to the competition but is unable to meet the deadline due to unforseen circumstances caused by COVID-19, they may reach out to Paige Samson ( or Ren White (  


The Foundation for Continuing Justice and the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates are pleased to announce the third Annual Criminal Record Policy Essay Competition and Scholarship for law students.

GUIDELINES: Between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length; must be origian content that has not been previously published; must be submitted in compliance with the terms set forth at  Additional information also available at the website.

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

DEADLINE: September 30, 2020, submit essay online

ELIGIBILITY, REQUREMENTS & DETAILS: Must be 18 years of age or older; enrolled in a Juris Doctor program in the United States; only one essay per student; any awarded funds are to be used to pay for law school-related expenses.