Law Student Community


0719law student community writing comp image v1__1200x400



The D.C. Bar Communities Office presents a writing competition open to Law Student Community members. 

The competition will be an opportunity for law students to submit a legal scholarship essay on a topic decided by the D.C. Bar. 

2019 Competition Topic: 

In 2020, the legal community will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote. Write about any topic related to the impact of the 19th Amendment since its ratification. 

Competition Rules:  

Eligibility: Any full-time or part-time law student enrolled in a J.D., LL.M. or S.J.D. program at an accredited law school located within the United States AND is a member of the Law Student Community of the D.C. Bar is eligible to participate. Only one entry per student is allowed; any student who submits more than one entry will be disqualified from further consideration. No document that has been previously published or is currently being considered for publication is eligible for submission. Submissions should be the work of the author and should not have undergone significant editing by others.  

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for this competition. However, all participants must be members of the D.C. Bar Law Student Community, of which a membership cost of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the year is required to join.  Membership in the community must occur prior to any entry being accepted. More information about the Law Student Community and how to join can be found here

Submission Content and Format: All submissions must be a legal scholarship essay in the style of a law review article, advocacy piece or other legal analysis. Submissions will be judged on their legal scholarship within the topic area chosen by the D.C. Bar. Within the topic provided, submissions may focus on one specific area or cover multiple areas, so long as the paper is one cohesive, articulate paper. Submissions must be no longer than 10,000 words, not including citations. Submissions may be less than 10,000 words. The text of submissions must be double spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins. Footnotes must be single spaced, in 10-point Times New Roman font. Please note that papers must be properly cited, and any submission found to be in violation of plagiarism rules will be immediately disqualified. Do not include your name, school, or any other identifying information in the paper, this information should instead be included in the body of the email. Please included your name, school, year of graduation, email address and phone number in the email. Entries should be submitted as a PDF.

Judging Process: All submissions will go through a preliminary screening completed by the D.C. Bar Communities Office to make sure that papers follow requirements in terms of format, length, proper citations, etc. All eligible submissions will then be transferred for review to the Communities Committee. During both the preliminary screening and the Committee judging process, submissions will be scored according to a standard rubric designed by the D.C. Bar. Each submission will be reviewed by three readers and winners will be decided by the judges from the D.C. Bar Communities Committee. Submissions will be judged on quality of writing, complexity of legal analysis, diligence in research, relevance to topic chosen, and originality.

Award: There will be one winner with a second-place acknowledgment. The winner will receive a cash prize along with publication of the paper through the D.C. Bar. An abstract of the first-place winner’s submission will be published in a spring edition of the Washington Lawyer and a full version of the paper will be published on the D.C. Bar website. The second-place acknowledgment, or runner-up, will also have their submission published on the D.C. Bar Website. Award acknowledgement is expected to be communicated by February 2020.

Please submit entries to [email protected].

Deadline to Submit Entries is 11:59 pm on Monday, November 25, 2019.