Sunday, August 31, 2008

==> March deadline, $500 and travel to D.C. Administrative Law

Essays must not exceed 12 pages, including title, citations, and any footnotes. The text of the essay must be double-spaced, with twelve-point font and one-inch margins. Entries should reflect the style of Administrative Law News articles rather than law review style. Entrants are encouraged to review past copies of the News available at - prior to drafting their submissions. Citations must be embedded in text or in footnote form; essays with endnotes will be disqualified. Cites must conform with the 18 th Edition of The Bluebook: Uniform System of Citation.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

12/05/09 Deadline -- Travel to Orlando and $500 ABA Health Law Writing Competition

The Health Law Section is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Law Student Writing Competition. The winner will be introduced at the Section's Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law conference February 19 – 20, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. The award will include publication in The Health Lawyer; a $500 honorarium, and airfare (at ABA rates), hotel for two nights and a $50 per diem for two days to attend the Emerging Issues conference. A second place winner may be named if deemed appropriate.

The second place winner will also be published in The Health Lawyer. No cash or travel award will be presented to the second place winner.

The format should be in the Harvard "Blue Book" style. Papers should be a minimum of 25 pages double spaced and a maximum of 50 pages. It needs to be an original work with no third party(ies) to substantially edit or collaborate in the writing of the paper.

Full competition guidelines appear here: ABA Health Law Writing Competition (pdf)

Pacific Legal Foundation

Former winning essays in the Pacific Legal Foundation's writing contests: here

Its next writing competition for 2008-09 will focus on judicial awareness. Prior competition prize values were $5,000; $3,000; $1,500. Watch its website for the imminent announcement of 2008-09 competition rules and deadlines.

Pacific Legal Foundation's mission statement:

"Established March 5, 1973, Pacific Legal Foundation is the oldest and most successful public interest legal organization that fights for limited government, property rights, individual rights and a balanced approach to environmental protection."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

===> $1,000 - Int'l Law; May deadline

When the deadline for the 2008-09 competition is announced, I will post a notice again about this competition.

Last year's details follow:

Andrew P. Vance Memorial Writing Competition

The Competition
The Customs and International Trade Bar Association (CITBA) and Brooklyn Law School (BLS) sponsor this Writing Competition to encourage law students who are interested in careers in customs and international trade law. Winning papers will be considered for publication in the Brooklyn Journal of International Law.

Who is Eligible
Entrants must be currently enrolled in a J.D. or L.L.M. program at one of the nation's law schools.

Paper Requirements
Submissions should be typewritten and double-spaced on 8 ½ x 11 inch paper. The paper must not exceed 40 pages in length, including footnotes. Papers must include footnotes, not endnotes. Papers should be in 12 point, Times New Roman font and have one-inch margins on all sides. Noncompliance with these requirements may affect evaluation or result in disqualification. The following should be included on the cover sheet of the paper:

  • Full name, address and telephone number
  • Law school and anticipated year of graduation
  • Date of submission

A committee of practicing attorneys and professors with relevant expertise will judge the papers. The following factors will be considered:

  • Legal analysis
  • Thoroughness and depth of topic
  • Evaluation of judicial precedents, statutes, and regulations
  • Writing style
  • Form and quality of citations
  • Conformity with the rules of Competition

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DEADLINE in TWO WEEKS -- $1,000 plus travel -- 09/10/2008 deadline (essay or appellate brief) -- Terasem

Call for papers: Terasem

Requirements, Track A: Interested participants must submit, no later than September 10, 2008, a 6,000 - 10,000 word (including footnotes) analysis of the legal rights and obligations of futuristic persons, also known as Transbemans. “Transbeman” is defined as a being who claims to have the rights and obligations associated with humans, but is beyond currently accepted notions of legal personhood. (Examples would include a computer claiming to be conscious; a person successfully revived from post-mortem cryonic biostasis; or a person’s downloaded cyberconsciousness in a bionano body).

Requirements, Track B: Interested participants must submit, no later than September 10, 2008, a 4,000 – 6,000 word (including footnotes) appellate brief in support or in opposition to the December 10th, 2005/2006 mock trial rulings in the matter of the BINA48 intelligent computer. Further details on the BINA48 Petition, as well as a webcast and transcripts of the mock trials, are accessible at:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

[Local Color Break: Farewell to Mike from Arsaga's]

This past week, the law library Arsaga's has said good bye to Mike Anderson. Mike has received a grant to work full time as an artist -- some of his artwork is at the upper left of this photo. When Mike's web site is up and running, I'll let you know, in another local color break devoted to Mike. Or, you can keep an eye out for yourself at

Thursday, August 21, 2008

==> Added inspirational writing competition site at Denver

Thanks to Professor Teresa Bruce at the University of Denver for sharing a link to the writing competition site that is maintained at Denver. The DU site is inspirational, and Professor Bruce has set a standard for how to think about writing competitions. The site includes a roster of DU students who have won prizes in the writing competitions, and that roster is growing!

(Professor Bruce cautions that some technical fine tuning may shift how the site is functioning.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

===> July 1 deadline $3,500 Tax Law Issues

Watch for the 2009 competition announcement at: The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and The American College of Tax Counsel.

Again, this post is for those working through their journal article, seminar article topic selections. $3,500 for first place; $2,500 (second); $1,500 (third).

A list of the 2007 winners and their article titles follows:

First Place
James Bamberg, University of Florida Levin College of law
Sponsor: Prof. Kristin Gutting
A Different Point of Venue: The Plainer Meaning of Internal Revenue Code Section 7482(b)

Second Place
David Kamin, New York University School of Law
Sponsor: Prof. Lily Batchelder
What's a Progressive Tax Change? Unmasking Hidden Value in Distributional Debates

Third Place
Joshua R. Mourning, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
Sponsor: Prof. Cheryl D. Block
A Tax Policy Analysis of Congress's Labyrinthine Stock Option Tax Scheme

Honorable Mentions
Lora Cicconi, UCLA School of Law
Sponsor: Prof. Steve Bank
Blaming 162(m) for the Backdating Scandal: Legitimate Concerns or Scapegoating?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

===> UNLV's competition site linked at the sidebar

The University of Nevada Las Vegas maintains a writing competition web site which I've linked this morning, here in this blog post, and at the side bar. Because the 2008-09 academic year is just getting underway, many currently advertised competitions appear out of date, but competitions are a yearly event, and this year's deadline will approximate last year's. Taking a look at the competitions now makes sense, as you plan out your year and your writing topics for law journal activities, seminars, or independent study papers.

While many of the competitions describe "essays," in most cases its a paper with footnotes that is the focal point. The page lengths for the papers run between 25 and 50 pages of double spaced text. Every competition is a little bit different. Take a look at the general advertising information for all the competitions, and for the ones that interest you, also take a look at the competition rules, usually set out in a discrete location. As with deadlines, the previous year's competition rules will provide a good idea of what this year's competition rules will be. Also, in the idea-generation stage of choosing your writing topic, the winning titles will give you a sense of the possibilities.

Monday, August 18, 2008

==> Added ABA's Competition Site to the Side Bar

Many of the writing competitions are offered by a specialized sub-group of the American Bar Association. I've linked the ABA's site on the side bar (it's on the right side of this screen, under the heading "Writing Competition Website Collections"). The ABA site also is linked through this post.

If you're making some last minute changes to your semester, choosing a research topic for an independent study, law review or law journal effort, take a look at the ABA site. The array of competitions offered in the various sub-specialties in law can help you with writing topic ideas and also may give you the extra inspiration to take that seminar you've been looking into.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

==> January 2009; Employment Law -- $3,000

Winning Papers, back to 1998-99 are On-Line at the Jackson-Lewis/Chicago-Kent Competition Website

Competition Winners

2007 - 2008 Winners:

Mariya Starchevsky - 1st Place
George Mason University School of Law
Title of Paper: ERISA Federal Preemption Problem with a State-Based Solution: The Need for Regulatory Subdivision in Employee Benefits

Lindsay Niehaus - 2nd Place
Northern Kentucky University -Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Title of Paper: The Fifth Amendment Disclosure Obligations of Government Employers When Interrogating Public Employees

Juliana Poindexter - 2nd Place
University of San Francisco School of Law
Title of Paper: Has the FLSA Failed to Adapt to the New Information and Service Economy? The Case of Insurance Adjusters

Saturday, August 16, 2008

=> 9/30/08 Leicester, England, UK -- Women and the Law

Brooklyn Law School's writing competition site includes this copy for a Women and the Law essay competition with a September 30, 2008 deadline:

University of Leicester, UK
Victoria Fisher Memorial Prize Writing Competition

Topic: The Essay can be on any topic relating to Women and the Law. It must not exceed 10,000 words in length and must be typed in English and double spaced.
Prize: $500
Deadline: September 30, 2008
Note: Information as to whether the essay was specially written for the competition or an essay that has already been submitted as a dissertation or as coursework will be accepted but please ensure that the tutor's comments and marks have been removed from the copy submitted, and the work should be re-read to check its suitability for submission. Essays must include a bibliography and will not be accepted in any form of binder.
For more information:
Call: +44(0)116-252-2363

Friday, August 15, 2008

==> $5,000 Grammy Awards Essay Winner's Story

The competition is co-sponsored by the American Bar Association and the GRAMMY Foundation.

The 2007 winning article was titled "Dealing With Casual Piracy: Limiting Distribution of Copyrighted Content With Digital Rights Management." Read about the winner here.

The first-place prize included an award of $5,000 and a trip to Los Angeles to attend the GRAMMY Awards, where the winner had a ticket to the ELI luncheon with a guest list of entertainment lawyers and music industry officials, as well as law students.

Last year's deadline was December 20.

==> May 2009 - $5,000 Trusts & Estates

The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel officially announced its Mary Moers Wenig 2008 Student Writing Competition, in October, but it's something to have in mind as you select writing topics for the fall.

Highlights from the American Bar Association's reporting of last year's competition follow:

First Place Prize of $5,000:

+ A broad range of topics in the trusts and estates and related taxation areas
+ Attractive page requirements -- the body of the paper must be 20 double-spaced pages and may not exceed 30 double-spaced pages
+ Use of original (but unpublished) papers, including papers prepared for law school credit
+ [last year's deadline was May 1, 2008 allowing for work over both semesters and breaks]
+ No limit on the number of Honorable Mention Prizes allowing entrants to have a greater chance of receiving recognition and monetary awards
+ Papers may be coauthored

ACTEC's home page for the 2008 Competition

Thursday, August 14, 2008

=> 3/2/09 $1,500 Tort Trial & Insurance

"The Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) has established an annual Law Student Writing Competition with $1,500 cash, plus paid air and hotel accommodations to the ABA Annual Meeting awarded to the first place winner and $500 cash awarded to the second place winner. Read about this year's winners and their winning papers here. The goal of the competition is to encourage and reward law student writings on legal subjects within the scope of the Section and general and current interest."

Rules and 3/2/09 Deadline Information (pdf)

2007-08 winners: the first place entry was written by a University of Tulsa law student. The winner papers are uploaded at the Tort Trial & Insurance web site.

1st place: Good Business/Bad Faith: Why the Insurance Industry Should Adopt a Good Faith Model

2nd place: Punitive Damages No Puny Problem: The Threat of Multiple Punishments After Philip Morris v. Williams

3rd place: The Government Contractor Defense and Superior Orders in International Human Rights Law

======> Finding topics in the local newspaper

The winner of the 2007 International Association of Defense Counsel legal writing contest picked out her winning topic, while reading her local newspaper.

"[The winning paper] was inspired by ... an article in the Oregonian quoting a prominent critic of fingerprint methodology as stating that it had never been scientifically validated. Like most people, [the contest winner] had always assumed fingerprint identification was firmly grounded in science, and she wanted to find out more. S[he] was taking Criminal Procedure ... at the time, and [her professor] proposed that she approach the topic as an independent study subject, and offered to be her advisor. " The full press release is here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

======> Paper Topics? Seminars and Law Journals

Law students who are enrolled in seminars, law review, or law journal activities in the coming fall will find it helpful to browse through the myriad writing competitions offered each year. Best papers from previous years can provide ideas about journal topics; competition deadlines can energize a head start on the local deadlines; and scholarly writers can win some serious $$$$ for excellent work.

The University of Idaho's writing competition website provides a good starting point for independent investigation. Idaho's site organizes the information by Deadline Month, and by Subject category.

To use the writing competitions for long-range planning purposes, competitions that have deadlines starting in January (or later, depending on your progress in the fall semester) are ideal. Writers who have produced some ambitious research and writing during this past spring or summer -- may find a competition with a fall submission deadline is coincidentally calling for a paper on that topic.

The possibility -- for a perfect match between your interests, and the topic areas solicited by the various competitions -- is really quite good.

Take a look!

==> May deadline $2000 (litigation topics)

International Association of Defense Counsel

First Place $2,000; Second Place $1,000; Third Place $500; Honorable Mention Plaque

2008 - 1 - First Place, Jamie L. Wershbale
Florida Coastal School of Law
Tort Reform in America: Abrogating the Collateral Source Rule across the States

2008 - 2 - Second Place, J. Alex Bruggenschmidt
Indiana School of Law-Indianapolis
Asbestos for the Rest of Us: The Continued Viability of Statutes of Repose in Product Liability

2008 - 3 - Third Place, Christian N. Elloie
Southern University Law Center
Are Pre-Dispute Jury Trial Waivers a Bargain for Employers over Arbitration? It Depends on the Employee

2008 - Honorable Mention, Rakhi Patel
UCLA School of Law
Taking the Next Step Forward: A Practical Evaluation of the Hague Choice of Court Agreements Convention

2008 - Honorable Mention, Andrew Batog
Barry University School of Law
The Post-Sinochem World: An Argument for Changing the Standard of Review in Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals

=> 9/30/08 -- $5,000 (1st) -- Public Contract Law

* 2007 First Place: Ben Davidson – “Liability on the Battlefield: Adjudicating Tort Suits Brought By Soldiers Against Military Contractors”

* 2008 deadline: 9/30/08 (see ABA/PCLJ website linked below for details)

* Open to J.D. candidates, LL.M. candidates, and attorneys under 36 years of age or admitted to practice within the past five years *

* Prize Money of $5,000 for First Place Papers, $2,500 for Second Place Papers, and $1,000 for Third Place J.D. Level Papers *

* Quality Papers will be considered for Publication in the Public Contract Law Journal *

ABA/PCLJ Annual Writing Competition (2008) Website

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

=> 9/26/08 -- $750 -- Securities Memo, Brief, or Seminar Paper

1st prize--$750; 2nd prize--$500; 3rd prize--$250
The submission may address any aspect of Securities law; Securities arbitration; The Federal Arbitration Act, Title 9, U.S. Code, section 1-14; or FINRA Code of Arbitration, effective April 16, 1007 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 are chosen.

Open to all students who attend a law school in the United states, including non-law students who write law-related papers as part of a law school course.

Electronic entries by midnight 9/26/08 to Subject heading: "2008 Writing Competition"

Competition form and rules appear in the Law Student setion of the PIABA website,

sponsored by Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association
2415 A. Wilcox Drive
Norman, OK 73069

=> 02/01/09 -- 9500 euro -- Public International Law

The Paul Guggenheim Prize, (9500 euro) will be awarded to a monograph of major importance in the field of public international law (except European law). The monograph must be of the highest quality and be the work of a young author at the beginning of his/her career. Works submitted may be in the form of published books or of manuscripts intended for publication; they may be written in English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. Works which have already been awarded a prize of a similar nature will not be considered.

Applications accompanied by a curriculum vitae, a list of publications and five copies of the work submitted must be received no later than 1st February 2009 by:

The Paul Guggenheim Foundation
The Graduate Institute of International an Development Studies,
avenue de la Paix
1202 Geneva (Switzerland)

Applicants are required to specify whether the work submitted has already been awarded a prize.

The Regulations pertaining to the Prize may be obtained at the same address.

TEL +41 (0)22 908 59 00 -

Monday, August 11, 2008

==> competitions by subject matter (UNLV) and Introductions


The purpose of this blog is to collect information on writing competitions for law students and lawyers, and to post it as that information becomes available. It generates from the University of Arkansas School of Law where I am an assistant professor and where I teach courses in the first year legal research and writing program.

I welcome your feedback, and I will post your leads about writing competitions that law students or lawyers may participate in.

To start things off, I will begin with a link to UNLV's writing competition site, which is organized by topical area: Legal Writing Competition (UNLV)