Undergraduate Law Essay Competitions

Writing Competitions, Awards, Grants, and Scholarships

These are not sponsored or endorsed by Columbia Law School. Please check this website often for updates. For additional information, stop by our Student Services reception desk.

Companion Animal Law Writing Contest

The American Kennel Club® (AKC), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is pleased to announce the launch of the Companion Animal Law Writing Contest. The contest is open to all students currently enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school. The contest will offer a first-place prize of $2500 and a second-place prize of $500. Students will have two topics to choose from and submissions are currently being accepted. The topics available are companion animal law and pet custody law.

Entries will be judged by legal and public policy professionals with experience in laws impacting companion animals. Contestants can enter now through March 30, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. EST.

To learn more about the contest, including official rules and policies, click here.

The Gainsberg Law Annual Scholarship Award for 2018

Gainsberg Law is proud to offer an annual $2500 scholarship opportunity for your students: the Gainsberg Law Annual Scholarship Award. Every year, we will select a student who is or will be, enrolled in an accredited university or college in the Fall semester of the upcoming academic year. The winner will be announced in June 2018. Upon the student’s request, the non-transferrable award can be paid directly to the school.

Please send completed applications to givingback@gainsberglaw.com, or fill out the application here. Incomplete applications, and applications emailed or uploaded after April 1, 2018, will not be considered. For questions about the scholarship, please contact givingback@gainsberglaw.com.

The John C. Hazard Fund

The AFLA (American Foreign Law Association) awards small-scale research scholarships to law students to promote the understanding and application of foreign, comparative and international law. Funded in part by contributions from AFLA members, Hazard Fund research scholarships are intended to ensure that recipients have access to modest financial assistance towards logistics, travel, housing, living expenses and other costs related to their research. This year, the AFLA will be offering up to two $3,000 grants to 1 & 2L students who write a 20-25-page research paper on an international comparative law topic of their choosing.

Applicants are asked to submit a 250-500 word research proposal, a current CV and an unofficial transcript to the AFLA by Monday, April 2, 2018. Accepted applicants will be notified by the end of May 2018. Applications should be submitted electronically to Nassim Ameli (nameli@jonesday.com) and Nicholas Harnik (nicholas@harnik.com). Additional information may be found here. 

Henry L. Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition

The author of the article deemed best by a panel of judges will receive $2000 cash, publication in ELI’s flagship publication, the Environmental Law Reporter, and a one-year individual membership to ELI.

Any topic addressing developments or trends in U.S. environmental law with a significant constitutional, “federalism,” or other cross-cutting component. (See sample topics below.)

Students currently enrolled in law school (in the U.S. or abroad) are eligible, including students who will graduate in 2018. Any relevant article, case comment, note, or essay may be submitted, including writing submitted for academic credit. Jointly authored pieces are eligible only if all authors are students and consent to submit. Previously published pieces, or pieces that are already slated for publication, are ineligible.

Entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm ET on Monday, April 9, 2018. Please email entries (and any questions) to Lovinia Reynolds at reynolds@eli.org. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by email.

Brandeis Association Scholarship Fund
The Professional Association of the Jewish Bench and Bar in Queens County

The Brandeis Association of Queens County Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to Jewish law students currently in the 2nd or 3rd year of study at the time of submission and who are residents of Queens County or who are attending law school in Queens County.  In awarding the scholarships, consideration will be given to financial need, legal scholarship and community involvement. The Brandeis Association is proud to announce that this year we will be awarding three Scholarships of $5,000. 

Mail all applications to Brandeis Association Scholarship Committee c/o Hon. Lee A. Mayersohn, 88 11 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, New York 11435

Deadline for Submission: Postmarked by April 27, 2018

The Plaxen and Adler Scholarship

The Plaxen and Adler Scholarship Awards $2500 annually to a law student who has demonstrated an interest in civil trial advocacy and a career as a civil trial lawyer, as well as the concept of a fair Civil Justice system, a just result for the injured, a desire to represent the injured and those whose rights are jeopardized. The scholarship is available to all students enrolled in law school as well as senior college students already accepted into an accredited law school, including those who are outstanding and promising scholars, have an interest in civil trial advocacy and possess a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Additional information may be found here.

All applications must be submitted by May 15, 2018

The CPW Law Legal Scholarship

CPW Law is proud to offer our 2nd annual scholarship opportunity to pre-law students, incoming law students and current law students at accredited institutions who wish to pursue careers as trial attorneys. The scholarship value is $3,000. An application form and requirements for the CPW Law Legal Scholarship can be found here.
All applications must be submitted by May 31, 2018

Yeboah Law Group’s Annual Make a Difference Academic Scholarship

Yeboah Law Group is pleased to announce the first annual Make a Difference Scholarship for $3000 to students throughout the country who truly want to be the change they wish to see. This annual scholarship will be awarded to a student who is currently enrolled in, or who will officially be enrolled in, any accredited university or college in the U.S. for the Fall semester of the upcoming academic year. Upon request, the scholarship award can be paid directly to your college or university. Eligibility requirements can be found here.

To submit your scholarship application: please fill out the application form below, no later than June 1, 2018. Incomplete applications, and applications that are emailed or postmarked after June 1, 2018, will not be considered. 
If you need any additional information about the award or require more information in order to post this opportunity, email scholarship@yeboahlaw.com. 

2018 American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Writing Prize Announcement

The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel is pleased to announce the fourteenth annual employee benefits writing prize. The competition is open to any J.D., and LL.M. or J.S.D. law students enrolled at any time between August 15, 2017 - August 15, 2018. Papers must deal with employee benefits topics. As an illustrative example, a paper might address legal issues involving health benefits, pensions, 401 (k) plans, severance, executive compensation, claims, appeals, current or former spouses' or domestic partners' benefits, collectively-bargained benefits in bankruptcy, ERISA litigation, fiduciary obligations or the tax treatment of benefits/contributions. Questions concerning the competition should be directed to Brian Dougherty, Chair of the ACEBC Writing Prize Committee at brian.dougherty@morganlewis.com. Additional information may be found here.

All applications must be submitted by June 1, 2018

The California Supreme Court Historical Society 
Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Competition in California Legal History

Original, unpublished scholarly writing on any aspect of California legal history, ranging from the Supreme Court itself, and its justices and decisions, to local events of legal historical importance - including biography, significant cases, independent state interpretation, the California Constitution, and reorganization of the court system, as well as areas of law such as criminal law, civil rights, family law, tort liability, environmental law, and taxation — in any time period from 1846 to the present.

Please post the attached announcement of an opportunity for your students to win $2500, $500, or $250 and publication in the Society's journal, California Legal History.  The entry deadline is June 30, 2018.  

For general information about the CSCHS, please see www.cschs.org. 

The Frankowski Firm’s Annual Academic Scholarship Award

The Frankowski Firm announces the creation of the Annual Academic Scholarship Award. This scholarship will be awarded each year to a law student who is or will be enrolled in an accredited university or college in the Fall semester of the upcoming academic year. The award will be presented to the applicant who has best demonstrated outstanding academic achievement while promoting justice and serving the needs of those who have been disadvantaged or injured. The award is non-transferable and can be paid directly to the school at the student’s request.

Scholarship award: $2500

The scholarship will be awarded, and the student notified of his or her selection.

Please email completed applications to GivingBack@frankowskifirm.com, or fill out the application form located here. Any applications emailed or uploaded after July 2018 will not be considered. No incomplete applications will be considered. For questions about the scholarship, please contact GivingBack@frankowskifirm.com.

The Geneva Challenge 2018: Advancing Development Goals International Contest

The 2018 edition of the Geneva Challenge is a project funded by Swiss Ambassador Jenö Staehelin and is supported by Kofi Annan, the high-patron of the contest. The Geneva Challenge aims to encourage interdisciplinary problem solving analysis among master students on advancing human development within the scope of a relevant topic.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and has become a critical concern for both developing and developed countries. As the key to this issue is an interdisciplinary solution, crossing traditional boundaries between academic disciplines, we are inviting graduate students from all academic programmes to provide helpful strategic recommendations. This year, we will distribute five prizes, one per continent.

Teams of 3-5 master students must submit an 8,000 word proposal which:

identify a challenge stemming from climate change; construct an interdisciplinary analysis on how it affects different aspects of development in a specific (but transposable) context; 

propose innovation at the policy, practice, process or technology levels turning the challenge into development opportunity.
The Geneva Challenge 2018 will distribute 25’000 CHF in monetary prizes and the finalists will be invited to publicly present their work in Geneva before a panel of high-level experts. Networking opportunities are also envisioned as part of the prize package. 

Registrations close on 16th April 2018.

Submission due by 20th August 2018. 

More information is available here.

Benjamin & David Scharps Legal Essay Competition - SUNY

This award is given on the basis of an essay on a selected legal topic that changes annually. The essay has a maximum length of 2,000 words excluding the biblioography. University endorsement is required: each participating SUNY campus may submit up to 3 essays.

Competition is open to students in junior and senior years at SUNY State-operated campuses who are interested in legal issues, or are interested in pursuing a career in the legal field. Awards include: $1,500-First prize for best essay describing the role and relevance of law in dealing with a current legal issue; $1,000 - Second Prize.

Application Instructions.  This year's topic: Student Rights in College Athletics.

Application Form: 2017 Scharps legal essay: application cover sheet and detailed instructions

Campus Deadline: January 17, 2017 (*internal campus deadline).

Contact / campus coordinator: Karen Kernan, URECA. Tel: 631.632.7114. Email: karen.kernan@stonybrook.edu

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