Essay Prompt, Requirements, Eligibility, and Awards

First Place Prize: $4,000
Second Place Prize: $3,000
Third Place Prize: $2,000
Optional Honorable Mention(s): $500

Publication opportunity available to winners
 

All eligible entrants will also receive a full 1-year complimentary student membership to FFRF, which includes a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF’s newspaper (publishes winning student essays).
 
This Year's Topic: If you could create a 28th Amendment what would it be?
 
Prompt: During its most recent terms, the Supreme Court has issued decisions that more or less ignore the Establishment Clause and favor an extreme interpretation of free exercise rights. Propose language for a constitutional amendment that would bring the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses back into balance and then analyze how your proposed language would alter the result in a recent Supreme Court case.
 
DEADLINE: March 15, 2024

ESSAY GRADING: Essays will be blinded to avoid unintentional bias. A selection of FFRF attorneys will be on the review panel. 
 
ELIGIBILITY: The contest is open to all ongoing law school students attending a North American law school. You remain eligible to enter this contest if you will graduate from law school by spring or summer of 2024. You are not eligible to enter if you will be starting law school for the first time in the fall of 2024. You may not re-enter if FFRF has already awarded you for a law student essay.
 
WORD LIMIT AND FORMATTING: Essay must be no longer than 1,500 words (not including footnotes), double spaced, standard margins, and font size 11 to 14 point. Include page numbers and the title of your essay on each page. Choose your own title. Indicate word length at end of essay. Citations must be included as footnotes.

AGREEMENT: By entering, students agree to permit winning essays to be printed in full or in part in Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper, and posted online at FFRF's website. Winners agree to promptly provide a photograph suitable for reproduction with their essay. Verification of student enrollment may be requested.

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* 1. Please provide the following personal information

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* 2. Please provide your permanent contact information. (Country is only required if you are outside of the U.S.)

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* 3. Please provide your school-year address information, if different from permanent address.

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* 4. Please answer the following questions regarding your undergraduate degree(s).

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* 5. Please write a one-paragraph biography about yourself. This is not read by our judges, it is printed in our newspaper if your essay is selected.

This may include interests, family, volunteerism, secular, or other activism, year in school, awards, work experience, travel, and professional or educational goals.

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* 6. How did you hear about this essay competition?

Was it a specific scholarship website, our newspaper, school, etc.?

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* 7. I verify that I am currently enrolled in law school. This essay competition is only open to law students, if you are not currently in law school your entry will not be considered.

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* 8. By entering this competition, I agree to the following if I am one of the winners: to permit my winning essay to be announced in a news release, posted online at FFRF’s website, and printed in full or in part in FRFF’s newspaper, Freethought Today; to promptly provide FFRF with a high resolution photograph of myself suitable for publication with my winning essay; to send verification of student enrollment, if requested.

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* 9. Upload your essay as a PDF here

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