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Writing Competitions for Law Students: Tips

Introductory Note

This guide identifies opportunities available to Brooklyn Law School (BLS) students.  When BLS librarians learn of new opportunities, we will update this guide.  So, when you access this guide in future, please reload this web pageSome opportunities are listed under two topics.  Contact librarian Jean Davis ( if you would like to provide information about an additional writing competition for law students.


  • This guide links to websites describing writing competitions that are open to BLS students.  Sponsors of these competitions provide more detailed instructions and rules at their websites. 
    • Information on the spring 2024 Writing Competition for BLS students who wish to be considered for membership on the staff of BLS student-run journals appears in BLSConnect > Academics > Honor Societies and Journals > Writing Competition. 
  • Review carefully the description of a competition's topic, student eligibility/authorship criteria, standards for evaluating submissionsformat for submissions (including word minimum/maximum), rules and deadline.  
    •  Competition rules vary greatly.  One competition in this guide requires submission of original essays, while another competition requires submission of 20-30 page scholarly papers in "traditional law review style."  Follow a competition's rules to ensure consideration of your submission.    
    • Many competitions' rules prohibit the use of all generative artificial intelligence, including large language models, to create any part of a contestant's written submission.  
    • Regarding "any portion of any [Brooklyn Law School] assignment, competition, or exam," review: Brooklyn Law School Code of Academic Responsibility: G. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE GENERALLY PROHIBITED.
  • Note whether a competition requires submission of an entry form that predates submission of an entry.
  • Note whether a competition requires or recommends use of a specific style manual
  • Check whether the competition provides a list of past winners/their topics
  • Do not be discouraged if a competition requires (or encourages) law student membership in an organization. 
    • The "Starting Points" page of BLS Library's Career Research guide describes how to join the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association for free.  A law student can join five free ABA groups.
    • A competition's guidelines might describe how to apply to an organization for complimentary student membership (example: description of Food and Drug Law Institute's H. Thomas Austern Writing Competition encourages competition participants to apply for its complimentary Student Membership Program).
    • A competition's guidelines might describe how to apply to an organization for a waiver of a law student membership fee.
  • BLS Library provides 50+ research guides that could help you to identify current awareness sources and new developments in a legal subject area.

You Can Do This!

Elizabeth Potter ’20 (L) and Emily Spanyer Sanford ’20 (R) earned first and second prize (respectively) in the 2019-2020 Louis Jackson Memorial National Student Writing Competition

When Was This Guide Last Updated?

This LibGuide was last substantively updated:

On: April 3, 2024

At:  2:37 PM

By: Jean Davis