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2016–2017 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.

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 law, 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


The Hibernian Law Journal in Ireland is looking for submissions for the 2017 edition.  Established in 1999, the Journal is co-ordinated by trainee and newly qualified lawyers.  The HLJ is academic peer reviewed and has a wide circulation, both in Ireland and internationally.  Articles relating to Irish, European and international law are considered.  Preference is given to articles which are relevant in an Irish context.

GUIDELINES:  Articles should be between 5,000 and 15,000 words, though exceptions may be made.  The article may not have been published elsewhere, although the article may be a thesis which is bound and catalogues in a university library.  Articles may be on any legal topic of interest to the author.  Case notes which make a genuine contribution to scholarship are also welcome.  The website lists the most common reasons for submissions being refused and authors should have regard to these.  Submissions from trainee solicitors and pupil barristers, PhD students and early career academics are particularly welcome.  The Hibernian Law Journal House Style is available on the website.

DEADLINE:  October 31, 2016.  Articles should be submitted in soft copy format to

Journal website: 


Awards prized for outstanding papers in the field of securities law.  Papers may address any subject in the field of securities law.  

ELIGIBILITY:  Students must be enrolled at any accredited law school in the United States for the 2016 fall semester.  Unpublished papers, papers published in any law journal or other publication during calendar year 2016, and papers scheduled for publication in 2016 or 2017 are eligible for submission.  Co-authored papers are not eligible.
AWARDS:  $5,000 first place, $3,000 second place, $2,000 third place.
DEADLINE: Thursday, November 10, 2016
Submissions, 2 copies, mail to:
P.O. Box 5767
Washington DC  20016
All submissions must include author's name, e-mail address, potal address, telephone number, law school, and year of anticipated graduation.  For published submissions and submissions scheduled to be published, the name and date of publication or anticipated publication should be included.  Should your article be selected, permission from your publisher to post a link to the article on the ASECA website at will be needed.

Two copies of each submission must be received by Thursday, November 10, 2016.  E-mailed submissions will NOT be accepted.  Receipt of submissions will be acknowledges by e-mail after all submissions have been received.

Questions may be directed to Mitzi Moore, ASECA Executive Director at or 202-462-1211.


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


In 2017, the Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, based in both the FSU College of Medicine and the FSU College of Law, will present awards for the outstanding original papers submitted by a law studnet and a medical student or medical resident in response to a question pertaining to collaboration between the medical and legal professions.  This writing competition is made possible by a generous gift from Mollie and Paul Hill.

Outstanding Paper by a Law Student - $250

2017 Contest Question:
THere is a consensus that the U.S. health care system is frequently characterized by the excessive and unnecessary provision of medical services.  One of the impediments to rationalizing medical practice to reduce tests, procedures, and treatments that are not clinically indicated and appropriate for particular patients is the perception by practicing health care professionals that the prevalent and oftern overused tests, procedure, and treatments are compelled by the current American legal syste, and that health care professionals' efforts to reduce the current waste and inefficiency will result in their expanded exposure to malpractice litigation and liability.  Discuss the ways in which the medical and legal professions may work together collaboratively to address the problem of excessive, unnecessary, wasteful, and inefficient provision of medical services in the U.S.  

1) All authors must be enrolled, at the time of paper submission, in as accredited law school or medical school (M.D. or D.O.) or participating in an accredited medical residency program in the United States.
2) No paper that has been previously published in any form will be considered; however, papers written for course credit are allowed as long as they have not been published.  An applicant may submit a paper for publication consideration after the winner of this writing competition has been announced.
3) The submitted paper must be responsive to the 2017 Contest Question.
4) Each submitted paper must be the original work of a single author.
1) The length of the paper must be between 1,200 and 5,000 words.  The word count applies to the total paper, including title page, body, footnotes, figures, and tables (if any).
2) No abstract is required.
3) All references should be in the form of footnotes, using either Blue Book or APA style.
4) All papers are to be submitted in Word document format, using 12 point Times New Roman font for all text, including footnotes.  The body of papers must be double-spaced and footnotes should be single-spaced.  All text must have one inch margins.  All pages must be numbered.
5) The first page must be the cover page, which must include: the author's name, full contact information, and school or residency program,m as well as the final word count obtained from Word and a disclosure of any conflict of interest affecting the author concerning the subject matter of the paper.
6) At the top of the first page of text, only the title of the paper should appear.
7) If the author wished to acknowledge an individual or institution, this may be done only on the cover page.
1) All papers will be judged by a committee of national experts on medical-legal collaboration, appointed by the Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, in a blinded review process.  The decision of the judges is final.
2) Prizes will not be awarded in the competition judges determine that no entry in a particular year meets the appropriate standards.
3) Papers will be judged according to the following criteria:  responsiveness to the competition question, originality and thoughtfulness, quality of analysis, quality of writing, citation of authority supporting arguments.
1) All papers must be submitted in the proper format by midnight (EST) on Janurary 2, 2017.
2) Papers must be submitted electronically to
3) Direct questions to:  Mollie and Paul Hill Student Writing Competition, Florida State Universtiy Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, 1115 W. Call Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4300  Phone: 850-645-9473  Web: htttp://  Email:
4) Winners will be announced on or before April 1, 2017


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