Upcoming Law Student Writing Contests

I’ve posted before about legal writing contests as a useful law student activity to practice analytic legal writing, get published, network professionally, and win prizes. With those goals in mind, here is a rundown of some interesting-looking legal writing contests with upcoming deadlines:

    *2013– Affordable Housing and Community Development Law Student Writing Competition

Deadline: March 8, 2013 (Housing and Urban Development Law)
1st Prize: $1,000 and airfare/ lodging to attend the Forum’s Annual Conference (Washington D.C., May 22-24)
The winning essay may also be published in the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law.
Open to all students currently enrolled in an ABA Accredited Law School. Papers should address any legal issue regarding affordable housing and/or community development law. Entries must be original, unpublished work. Articles should be between 25-50 double-spaced pages and should include footnotes. The page limit includes the endnotes.
For more information, please visit:

    * 2013– Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Writing Competition

Deadline: April 1, 2013 (Tort and Insurance Law)
1st Prize: $1,500 and airfare/ lodging to attend the ABA Annual Meeting (San Francisco, CA, August 8-13) and possible publication in the prestigious ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Law Journal.
2nd Prize: $500 and an honorable mention in the second magazine
3rd Prize: Honorable mention in the second magazine
This competition is open to any law school student in good academic standing, over the age of 18, who is a member of the American Bar Association Law Student Division at the time of the deadline date for submission.
For more information, please visit:

    * 2013– Criminal Justice William Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition (Criminal Law)

Deadline: April 10, 2013
1st Prize: $2,000 and airfare/ lodging to attend a future Section meeting.
Topic: Social Media-Implications for Criminal Law, Practice and Procedure: Any timely and important topic relating to developments in criminal law or procedure influenced by or related to social media. Such topics might include the Fourth Amendment implications of social media in criminal matters, privacy interests, the role or impact of social media on other substantive legal issues or investigative practices and the ethical implications relating to the same, the use of social media evidence in investigations and trials, and the impact and influence of social media on jurors.
For more information, please visit:

    2013 – Eighth Annual Constitutional Environmental Law Student Writing Competition

Deadline: April 12, 2013 (Environmental Law)
1st Prize: $2000 cash prize, an offer of publication in the Environmental Law Reporter, and a one-year individual membership to ELI
The U.S. Constitution has long been interpreted by the courts and understood by most Americans to support comprehensive environmental protections. However, arguments questioning the constitutional legitimacy of environmental law have continued to gain traction in the federal courts. In response to this trend, ELI, ABA SEER’s Constitutional Law Committee, and NAELS invite law students to submit papers exploring current issues on any topic addressing recent developments or trends in U.S. environmental law that have a significant constitutional or “federalism” component.
For more information, please visit:

    *(Human Rights) 2013 – NAWL Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition

Deadline: May 01, 2013 (5pm PST)
1st Prize: $500 and publication in NAWL’s Women Lawyers Journal
The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) is a national, voluntary legal professional organization whose mission is the advancement of women in the legal profession and women’s rights. Entrants should submit a paper on an issue concerning women’s rights or the status of women in the law. The most recent winning paper was “All Things Being Equal, Women Lose. Investigating the Lack of Diversity Among the Recent Appointments to the Iowa Supreme Court” written by Abigail Rury, Michigan State University School of Law.
For more information, please visit:

    * 2013 – American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Law Student Writing Contest

Deadline: June 1, 2013 (Employment Law)
Prizes: Clarin M. Schwartz Memorial Award $1,500 Sidney M. Perlstadt Memorial Award $1,500
Subject: Any topic in the field of employee benefits law.
Questions concerning the Competition should be directed to Peter Kelly, Chair of the ACEBC Writing Competition Committee at


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