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Writing Competitions

Writing competitions are a great way for students to sharpen their legal writing skills, get published, and possibly win cash prizes.

Below is a list of writing competitions available to all Drake Law students, organized by submission due date.

See also the American Bar Association's list of writing competitions and law student contests.

Jan. 15, 2017
Jameson Crane III Disability and the Law Writing Competition
Topic: Disability law including, legal issues arising with respect to employment, government services and programs, public accomodations, education, higher education, housing, and health care.
Prizes: First Place—$1,500, Second Place—$1,000
Visit the website.

Jan. 31, 2017
American Indian Law Review Writing Competition
Topic: Any issue concerning American Indian law or indigenous peoples. Recently published papers will not be favored.
Prizes: First Place—$1,000, Second Place—$500, Third Place—$250
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Feb. 20, 2017
Boom Essays
Prizes: First Place—$2,000, Second Place—$1,500, Third Place—$1,000
Visit the website.

March 1, 2017
Brogdon Champion, LLC
Prizes: First Place—$2,500 and published, Second Place—$1,000
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March 1, 2017
Australian Essay Writing Contest
Prizes: First Place—$3,000, Second Place—$2,500, Third Place—$1,500
Visit the website.

March 31, 2017
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Diversity Writing Competition
Topic: Why Pipeline Programs Targeting Students from Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Backgrounds Are Essential to the Future of the Legal Profession.
Prizes: One winning paper will be selected from each of the three (3) qualifying categories of eligible students (1L, 2L, 3L/4L). Each winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and the winning essays will be posted at In addition, one winning paper will be submitted for publication in the Journal of Legal Education or similar publication. 
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April 14, 2017
Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest
Topic: Any aspect of family law
Prizes: First Place—$1,500 and consideration of publication, Second Place—$750 and consideration of publication, Third Place—$350 and consideration of publication
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April 28, 2017
Notre Dame Law School Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition
Topic: Any issue within the general category of legal ethics.
Prizes: $2,500 will be awarded for one winning entry.
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June 1, 2017
Annual CGTrader Scholarship
Topic: "The future of technololgy in education"
Prizes: Best submission—$2,000, two runners-up—$500 each
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June 30, 2018
National Wage Theft Education Scholarship/Competition
Topic: Wage and Hour – the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Authors should seek to educate the public about the FLSA or an emerging trend or important case within the subject matter.
Prizes: $1,000 to the winner of the writing competition; $1,000 to the winner of the video competition; $500 to the video contestant with the most likes provided that it complies with all other terms and conditions.
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July 1, 2017
2017 American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize
Topic: Addressing issues of legal excellence, civility, ethics and professionalism.
Prizes: Winner will receive $5,000 and essay will be published in the South Carolina Law Review.
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July 5, 2017
The 2017 Tannenwald Writing Competition
Topic: Any federal or state tax-related topic
Prizes: $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500 for the top three papers
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Aug. 15, 2017
Australian Help Writing Contest
Topics: Essay Writing as a Tool for Developing One’s Literary Voice; Why Is It Important To Learn Storytelling in College?; Urgent Reforms Modern Education Needs; How EdTech Can Boost Students’ Creativity; Do You Need a College Degree To Be Successful?
Prizes: First place—$700, Second place—$500, Third place—$250
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Sept. 8, 2017
2017 James E. Beckley Securities Arbitration and Law Competition
Topic: Any aspect of Securities law; Securities arbitration; The Federal Arbitration Act, Title 9, US Code, Section 1-14; or FINRA Code of Arbitration.
Prizes: First place - $1,000, Second place - $750, Third place - $500
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Dec. 1, 2017
Center for Alcohol Policy - 10th Annual Essay Contest
Topic: Define temperance as it would apply in today's alcohol marketplace. Is it still relevant today? Should temperance still be recognized as a permissible goal of alcohol regulation?
Prizes: First place - $5,000, Second place - $2,500, Third place - $1,000
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June 30, 2018
National Wage Theft Education Scholarship/Competition
Topic: Authors should seek to educate the public about the FLSA or an emerging trend or important case within the subject matter.
Prizes: $1,000 to the winner 
Visit the website

July 1, 2018
2018 William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition
Topic: • Does using a cell-site simulator constitute an “unreasonable” search in Fourth Amendment terms? If not, why not? And if yes, why and when?
Please address the following issues:
o The legal relevance of the reliance of cell-site simulators on information that has been voluntarily conveyed to third parties.
o The impact of the location of the phone and the length of surveillance on your Fourth Amendment analysis.
o The potential need to reexamine certain precepts of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence in the digital age. One such precept is the third-party doctrine established by Smith v.
Maryland (99 S.Ct. 2577 (1979)), according to which an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in business record information voluntarily transmitted to a third party. In a modern era in which every aspect of our lives is “voluntarily” transmitted to and recorded by third parties—from our location information (through location-based Google Maps, cell phone towers, our cars, or our miscellaneous “check-ins”, among others), to our Cloud-stored e-mails and data, Fitbit-recorded exercise regimens, and lists of Facebook “friends”— should we continue to characterize such disclosures as “voluntary” and surrender all expectations of privacy in such information?
Prizes: Winner will receive $2,500 cash prize.
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Law School Events
September 25, 2018
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
September 26, 2018
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Law School News
September 12, 2018
The Drake Agricultural Law Center is hosting a statewide conference Sept. 19 titled “SOIL 2018: Turning Our Vision for Iowa’s Water and Land into Action" featuring experts in agriculture and the environment.