Friday, December 13, 2013

Law Student Writing Competitions

Hey, law students! Do you have seminar papers from past semesters gathering dust on your desk? Consider polishing them up for submission to a student writing competition! Each year, organizations offer countless opportunities for student writers to submit papers on a variety of topics, for the chance to win prize money, scholarships, and even publication.

For example, the Legal History and Rare Books Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), in cooperation with Cengage Learning, has just announced the Sixth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Cohen was a leading scholar in the fields of legal research, rare books, and historical bibliography.

Essays for the competition may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The competition is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, and related fields. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., March 17, 2014. See the contest page for details and application forms.

The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses associated with attendance at the 2014 AALL Annual Meeting, which takes place from July 12-15 in San Antonio, Texas. The runner-up will have the opportunity to publish the second-place essay in LH&RB's online scholarly journal Unbound: An Annual Review of Legal History and Rare Books.

If legal history isn't your area of expertise, there are plenty of other writing competitions available. The American Bar Association maintains a list of ABA-sponsored writing contests, with links to information about each. The University of Richmond School of Law maintains a massive Legal Essay Contest Catalog which can be sorted by topic and even prize amount. The Duke Law Daily also regularly includes announcements of student writing competitions.

For help with preparing those papers for submission, check out the library's collection of works on academic legal writing. For help locating these or more general legal writing titles, be sure to Ask a Librarian.