Jacob Neeley is the winner of the Spring 2021 Best Brief Competition. Other competition finalists were Eva Karademas, Mike Neary, Cameron Ubel, and Leigha Vilen. Congratulations to these great legal writers!

The Best Brief Competition is an annual event that recognizes outstanding legal writing by first-year students. The Legal Research and Writing faculty select the best appellate briefs from among those written by their spring semester students. Next, Wisconsin attorneys evaluate the semi-finalists' briefs to determine who will become finalists. A panel of Law School faculty then evaluates the finalists' briefs to decide the winner.

View past winners of the Best Brief Competition »

Other Writing Competitions for Students

One of the most comprehensive collections of law student writing competitions can be found at:

For information about how law students can submit papers for publication in law reviews outside their own law school, see Submission of Law Student Articles for Publication.

Competitions on the following table are listed by deadline date. Only the first prize is listed.

Deadline Prize Details Competition Details
February 1, 2021 The prize is $500 cash to the winner plus a $5,000 grant to implement a public interest project related to the article.  The grant can support the winner's public interest work or the work of a non-profit organization or pro bono clinic.

Public Interest Essay Competition (with grant application)

Essays must focus on a specific legal issue within the realm of public interest law, including issues relating to social justice or advancing the general welfare and good of the public.  Topics of national breadth or impact are encouraged.

March 25, 2022

First prize is $2,000.  The top two papers, as selected by the journal's editorial board, will be guaranteed publication in the Journal of Civic Information.

2021-2022 Journal of Civic Information Law Student Writing Competition

Papers should be about legal or public policy issues in the field of information access.  Preference will be given to submissions relevant to current legal and public policy debates.

April 1, 2022 First prize is $2,500.

American Kennel Club Companion Animal Law Writing Contest (PDF)

Pick 1 of 2 topics: (1) the impact of "lawyers for dogs" laws on animal cruelty cases or (2) the constitutionality of mandatory spay/neuter laws.

June 15, 2022 First prize is $3,000.  One or more papers may be published in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.  The first-place winner will be invited as a guest to the annual CLE program of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law.

College of Labor & Employment Lawyers Student Writing Competition

The topic must be relevant, engaging, and useful to labor and employment law lawyers in their practices.  The article should be relevant nationally.  See the rules for more content information.

Legal Resources

Writing Resources

Lock Icon