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National Law Student Writing Contests

Earn money, possible publication, and glory for your writing.
Big News! The Writing Contests Folders, where you can view scanned brochures and further information about the contests listed below, are accessible in a new route. From the Law School Home Page click on the Student Writing Competitions box in the lower-right corner. The direct link for the Writing Contests Folders is

Please notify Dr. Natalie Tarenko if you cannot access the notices.
Writing contests and the months in which their deadlines fall are as follows.

If you win a contest, please contact Dr. Natalie Tarenko so you can be recognized appropriately by the law school and your fellow students.

January 2013 deadlines: 2012 American Indian Law Review writing competition, on any topic concerning American Indian law or indigenous peoples, with prizes of $1000 and publication, $500, or $250, and an e-mail or postmarked deadline of 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Jan. 31, 2013;

February 2013 deadlines: Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law 2013 Human Rights Essay Award competition on the topic of “The Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Peoples and International Human Rights Law,” with prizes (one for best article in English, one for best article in Spanish) of a scholarship to attend the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (May 28-June 14, 2013), travel and living expenses for the program, and possible publication in the American University International Law Review, and a deadline of Feb. 1, 2013; 6th Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition in Regulatory and Administrative Law, on a topic related to regulatory or administrative law, with a prize of $1500, and a deadline of Feb. 11, 2011; ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability 2013 Levit Essay Contest, on a hypothetical involving questions about a law firm’s potential malpractice exposure when it relied upon a third-party vendor to provide document review services for a client, which ultimately resulted in the release of privileged documents, with a prize of $5000 and an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans, LA, in April 2013 for the Committee’s National Legal Malpractice Conference, and a deadline of Feb. 22, 2013; 8th Constance Baker Motley Student Writing Competition, on a topic “furthering and promoting a progressive view of the Constitution, law, and public policy,” with a prize of $3000 plus publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, and a deadline of Feb. 22, 2013;

March 2013 deadlines: Trandafir Writing Competition, on “any topic of contemporary international business or economic concern with a legal nexus,” with a prize of $2000 and publication in Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, and a deadline of Mar. 1, 2013; 2nd Annual Writing Competition at Trinity Law School (California), on the topic of “The Evolving Tension between Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Religion, and Hate Speech and Blasphemy Laws,” with prizes of $3000, $1000, and $500, and possible publication, and a deadline of March 25, 2013;

April 2013 deadlines: ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Annual Law Student Writing Competition, “on any part of the New Deal, a series of economic programs implemented in 1933-1936,” with first prize of $1500 plus travel to the Section’s annual meeting in San Francisco and possible publication and second prize of $500, and deadline of Apr. 1, 2013 (students must be a member of the ABA law student division);

May 2013 deadlines: National Association of Women Lawyers Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition, on the topic of women’s rights or the status of women in the law, with a prize of $500 and publication in the Women Lawyers Journal, and an e-mail submission deadline of May 1, 2013;

June 2013 deadlines: 9th Employee Benefits Writing Competition, on any topic in the field of employee benefits law, with two prizes of $1500 and possible publication, and a deadline of June 1, 2013; 30th Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition of the Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association, on a topic of significance in planning, planning law, land use law, local government law, or environmental law, with prizes of $2500 and possible publication in The Urban Lawyer, or $500, and $250, and a regular (snail) mail deadline of June 7, 2013;

July 2013 deadlines: 2013 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition, on any federal or state tax-related topic, with prizes of $3000, $2500, and $1500, and a deadline of July 1, 2013;

October 2013 deadlines: ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security, on this year’s theme, “Nuclear Issues and National Security Law,” with a prize of $500 and airfare, registration, and one night’s lodging for the 23rd Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference in Washington, D.C., and a deadline of Oct. 1, 2013;


Natalie Tarenko


School of Law