This is a slow news time for writing competitions, but now is the time with some time to think about writing outlets.
Here's one that's worth looking into: freelancing for the ABA's Student Lawyer Magazine. Freelancers have several points of entry, and those who want to submit for payment need to have developed a short chapbook of sample writing. Articles published in a local newspaper (hometown, college campus) on legal topics might work for this introduction.
The Student Lawyer has put together a good set of instructions for potential freelancers, and sums itself up on its freelance page:
We don’t make assignments to writers we’re unfamiliar with, but we are always willing to look at material on spec. If you’re interested in writing for us, e-mail us an article submission or a detailed query with three previously published clips.
The best way to find out what Student Lawyer is all about is to read an issue. They’re available for $8 apiece (plus postage and handling) from the ABA Service Center, 800-285-2221. Questions? Contact the editor by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (312-988-6048).All contributions must include the writer’s name and full contact information. Submit articles by MSWord file attachment to email@example.com.
Image: Will Simpson, Shooting Stars, from Monty's Woods