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Write My Law Essay Competition

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?

ABA Writing Competitions

ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
Entry Deadline: May
Award: Trip to New York City, hotel  for three nights and a $1,500 cash prize.

Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Contest
Entry Deadline: March
Award: $500; round-trip airfare and accommodation to attend the Section’s Fall Conference; and possible publication in Administrative and Regulatory Law News.

ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability and Long & Levit LLP – Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest
Entry Deadline: March 9, 2018
Award: $5,000 cash prize and an all-expense-paid trip to the Spring 2018 National Legal Malpractice Conference in Washington, DC, April 25–27, 2018.

ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources – Endangered Species Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: May 18, 2018
Award: First place: $1,000 cash prize, second place: $750 cash prize, third place: $500 cash prize.

ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources – Public Land Law and Policy Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: May 31, 2018
Award: First place: $1,000 cash prize.

Alternative Dispute Resolution James Boskey Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June
Award: $1,000 and posting on the Section’s website.

Section of Antitrust Law – Law Student Writing Competition
Award: $2,500 and Free admission and round-trip airfare to Spring Meeting,Announcement in upcoming issue of Antitrust, the Section’s magazine and the section’s e-magazine.

ABA Forum on Construction Law’s Law Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: June 5.
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.

Criminal Justice Annual William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: April
Award: $2,500; expense-paid trip to ABA Annual Meeting; and possible publication in Criminal Justice magazine.

Disability Rights Adam A. Milani Writing Competition
Entry deadline: June
Award: $300 to $500; possible publication in the Disability Rights Reporter.

Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: May
Award: Publication in the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law Resolution from the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence and honorarium.

Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Student Writing Competition
Postmarked Deadline: March
Award: Published in an ABA publication, a special combined edition newsletter of the Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources Committee and the Energy and Environmental Markets and Finance Committee.

Family Law Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest
Entry Deadline: April
Award: Possible publication in Family Law Quarterly and complimentary one-year membership in the ABA Section of Family Law.

16th Annual ABA Health Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline:  12:00 p.m. (CT), December 1, 2017
Award: First place: Publication in The Health Lawyer, a $500 honorarium, and
attendance at the ABA’s Emerging Issues in Healthcare conference.

Law and National Security Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: August
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 Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: September
Award: $5,000; publication in the Public Contract Law Journal; and possible presentation of paper at the Federal Procurement Institute.

Public Utility, Communications and Transportation K. William Kolbe Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June
Award: $2,500; free membership in the Section for one year after graduation; and airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the Section’s Fall Council Group Meeting.

Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Student Writing Contest
Entry Deadline: June
Award: $2,000; expense-paid trip to attend the Section’s Fall Council Meeting; and one-year free Section membership.

State and Local Government Smith-Babcock-Williams Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June
Award: 2,500 and possible publication in The Urban Lawyer.

Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: April
First Place Award: $1,500; airfare and lodging to ABA Annual Meeting; and possible publication in Tort Trial & Insurance Law Journal. Second Place Award: $500. All winners will be announced in the Section’s magazine, The Brief. For more information, rules and criteria, contact Linda Wiley (312.988.5673)

Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: April
Award: $500; financial assistance to attend the ABA Annual Meeting ($500 maximum).

Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: April
Award: $500; financial assistance to attendance the ABA Annual Meeting ($500 maximum).


Other Writing and Essay Contests

US Court of Federal Claims Bar Association Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: July 14
Award: $3,500 cash prize and an opportunity to be published via the Society’s journal, California Legal History. Tell me more

California Supreme Court Historical Society Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June 30
Award: $2,500 cash prize and an opportunity to be published via the Association’s website. $500 for second place, $250 for third. Tell me more

Center for Legal & Court Technology
Innovative Legal Issues Likely to Arise from Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: December 1

Award: $2,500 cash prize for first place, $1,500 for second, and $1,000 for third.

Companion Animal Writing Contest
Entry Deadline: March 30, 2018
Award: First Prize: $2500; Second Prize: $500
The American Kennel Club invites all currently enrolled law students at ABA-accredited institutions to participate in the Animal Law Writing Contest for a chance to win one of two cash prizes. Interested students will be required to submit an 8-15 page in-depth analysis of one of two provided topics. Submissions can be emailed to doglaw@akc.org no later than March 30, 2018. For detailed information on the animal law writing contest, requirements, and submission process, please visit us online at writeaboutanimallaw.com.

Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund (AEF) – Robert T. Matsui Annual Writing Competition
Entry Deadline: June
Award: $1,500 and publication in the UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal. Tell me more

Delaware Bar Foundation – Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition
Entry deadline: September 1st
Cash prizes of $2000, $1000 and $500 will be awarded to the top three papers. The first place paper will be published in “Delaware Lawyer” magazine. Tell me more

Chapman LLC Scholarship for Law Students
300-500 word essay contest. A check for $1,000 will be sent to the scholarship recipient’s law school of choice for law school expenses. Entry deadline, Nov. 15, 2016. Winner will be announced on or before Jan. 1, 2017.

National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees Law Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: April
Varies each year. Refer to website for details as they are released.

National Association of Women Lawyers – Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: May
Award: $500 and possible publication in NAWL’s Woman Law Journal.

The National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association
Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition
Entry deadline: June
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.

Hofstra Law School and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Family Law Writing Competition
Article Submission Deadline: March
Award: $500; possible publication in the Family Court Review.

University of Missouri:  CSDR Symposium Writing Competition
Entry deadline:  February 2018
Awards:  $500, $300, $200 for the first three places; possible publication in Journal of Dispute Resolution; publication online on the CSDR website.  2017-18 competition on topic of “Campus Speech, Protest, and Conflict Resolution.”

Tenth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition
Entry deadline: 11:59 p.m., April 16, 2018 (ET)
Awards: The winner will receive a $500.00 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. The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website: http://www.aallnet.org/sections/lhrb/awards. 


No matter what career a student chooses after graduation, being a lawyer requires more than just mastering various areas of substantive law. An effective lawyer must apply the precisely relevant law to a client's specific issue---and then communicate that analysis in a context-appropriate manner. The law school's legal analysis, research and writing program gives students the skills necessary to perform that analysis and communication across numerous contexts. From short time-sensitive emails to lengthy persuasive briefs, UW Law's curriculum provides numerous opportunities for students to master the real-world work of being a lawyer.

First Year Students

Each first year student takes a full year of  Legal Analysis, Research and Writing (LARW), which uses real-world problems and hands-on workshops that introduce students to the work that lawyers do. In LARW, students learn to analyze cases and statutes, to locate relevant legal authority, and to communicate effectively using a "plain language" style. Throughout the course, students must go beyond accurately stating the relevant legal rules; they must offer practical analysis of how those rules might apply to a client's needs. Because legal research and legal analysis are inherently intertwined, LARW faculty members integrate research instruction throughout the first-year program. The Gallagher Law Library reference office serves as a valuable resource for all students as they master the latest methods of legal research.

Second and Third Year Students

In their second and third years, students have abundant opportunities to advance their research, analysis, and communication skills in a variety of upper-level writing and research courses. All students must fulfill an advanced writing requirement, which may be satisfied through a variety of courses and projects.

Other opportunities to work on writing and research skills exist through legal writing competitions, moot court competitions and law school clinics.

Other opportunities

Student Legal Writing Competitions

Legal writing competitions offer a variety of rewards beyond the opportunity to practice analysis, research and writing skills; most competitions award significant cash prizes, and some provide opportunities for travel and publication.

Judge William L. Dwyer Jury Project Award

This competition is open only to UW law students who have completed at least one year toward a J.D. or LL.M. degree. Students may submit a short essay or article on any issue relating to any aspect of the American jury system. This competition is sponsored by the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington, the competition honors Judge William L. Dwyer, one of the nation's most respected federal judges.

Malcolm Edwards Prize for Best Overall Appellate Brief

The Edwards Prize is given each year to the best piece of written advocacy submitted by a first-year student during the spring quarter of Legal Analysis, Research and Writing (LARW). To be eligible, a student must also participate in the first-year Appellate Advocacy competition. The prize includes a cash award of $2,000.

The award was established in 2012 by a donation from the law firm of Smith Goodfriend, P.S., to honor the firm's founding partner, Malcolm L. Edwards, '57, who devoted a substantial portion of his law practice to appellate advocacy.

Legal Writing Fellows

Legal Writing Fellows (LWFs) are second- and third-year law students who work with first-year students under the supervision of the Legal Analysis Research & Writing faculty. LWFs hold office hours in the Legal Writing Center to help with skills such as case briefing and synthesis, statutory interpretation, legal research, writing style and organization, and citation form. LWFs may also provide feedback on short, ungraded writing and research assignments. From time to time, LWFs also hold informal lunchtime review sessions on topics that may require extra discussion.

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