The Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation sponsors an annual writing competition and invites law students to participate. The Section on Taxation has named this annual competition—the Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition—in honor of former IRS Commissioner Don Alexander, who passed away in 2009. Throughout his career, Mr. Alexander was both a widely admired role model and an advocate for writing skills and style in tax law.
Eligibility: All full-time and part-time law students currently seeking a juris doctor (JD) or a master of laws (LLM) at an accredited law school are eligible to enter the competition. Students may submit any original paper concerning federal taxation. Papers must be (i) a minimum of twenty pages and a maximum of fifty pages, including footnotes and (ii) double spaced, with one-inch margins and twelve-point Times New Roman font (though footnotes may be single spaced and in ten point font).
Papers written in connection with a law school course, seminar, or paid employment are eligible, provided that they are written in the form of a scholarly article and do not contain any client-specific work product. Student papers submitted for publication in law reviews or other legal journals are eligible for the competition. However, student papers that, at the time of entry, have already been published in a law review or other legal journal, or that have been selected for publication, are not eligible for the competition. Student papers submitted to other competitions are eligible for the Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition.
Prizes: Two winning papers will be selected by the officers of the Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation. The authors of the first place and second place papers will receive:
(i) A cash prize ($2,000 for first place and $1,000 for second place); and
(ii) A trip to the FBA’s Annual Tax Law Conference in Washington, DC, in March 2018 (value not to exceed $700), where each winner will be presented with a commemorative plaque and a complimentary, one-year membership in the Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation.
Papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria: (1) depth of research; (2) originality of thought; (3) quality, clarity, and efficiency of presentation; and (4) relevance to current tax policy or events. The Section reserves the right to award fewer or lesser prizes (or no prizes at all) if the judges determine that insufficient entries merit selection.