American Constitution Society for Law and Policy National Student Writing Competition

Deadline: 02/22/2013

Competition Website

The American Constitution Society (ACS) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School ACS Chapter host an annual national student writing competition in honor of Constance Baker Motley’s legacy. As a civil rights attorney, first woman elected President of the Borough of Manhattan, and the first African-American woman appointed to the federal bench, Motley’s life-long commitment to equality for all aligns with ACS’s mission to ensure that law is a force to improve the lives of all people.

ACS welcomes all student papers furthering and promoting a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy. Entrants are encouraged to view this topic broadly, and we welcome submissions on a variety of substantive areas. Examples of possible topics include:

  • Civil Liberties
  • Consumer Rights
  • Criminal Justice
  • Disability Rights
  • Protection of Health, Safety, and the Environment
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Privacy
  • Immigration
  • Voting and Political Process
  • Racial Equality
  • Religion
  • Separation of Powers and Federalism
  • Women’s Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Freedom
  • LGBT Rights
  • Human Rights
  • Education
  • Indigent Defense
  • Labor Law


Papers will be judged on the quality of their analysis and writing. The judging committee will include federal judges and leading academics. The student authors of the top three papers will receive special recognition at the ACS National Convention in the summer of 2013 and a cash prize for their work. The winner will be awarded $3,000. Each of the two runners-up will receive $1,000.             The top paper will also receive an offer of publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.

This year’s judges will include:

  • Judge Richard Mark Gergel (D.S.C.)
  • Judge Norma Shapiro (E.D. Pa.)
  • Judge Susie Morgan (E.D. La.)
  • Professor Kermit Roosevelt (University of Pennsylvania Law School)
  • Professor Margaret Hu (Duke Law School)
  • Professor Kathleen Morris (Golden Gate University)

The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 22, 2013.labor

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