Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest

The American Bar Association Business Law Section is sponsoring its 25th annual Mendes Hershman student writing contest to encourage and reward law student writings on a business law subject of general and current interest.

Submissions Guidelines

  • ABA-accredited law schools may nominate high quality papers on a business law topic written in the 2009-2010 or current academic year by a student currently enrolled in the law school’s J.D. program.
  • The paper may be specifically prepared for this contest; submitted in a class, seminar, or as an independent study; or a proposed law review/journal note, comment or article.
  • Papers that have been submitted to or published by a student publication are acceptable for submission to the contest. The application form must indicate to which publications the work has been submitted and if it has been published.
  • Papers submitted are normally 20-30 pages long, but in any event should not exceed 100 pages of double-spaced typed text, including footnotes.
  • A student need not be a member of the Business Law Section to participate.

To apply:
All entries must be submitted electronically by Friday, January 14, 2011. Click here to download a cover form to be included with your entry. Send your cover form and paper to Leslie Banas.  Please contact Leslie with any questions by email or at 312-988-5630.


The prizes for the writing contest are:

  • First Place: $2,500 to the first place winner to be presented at the Business Law Section Spring Meeting in Boston, MA.
  • Second Place: $1,000 to the second place winner to be presented at the Business Law Section Spring Meeting in Boston, MA.
  • Third Place: $500 to the third place winner to be presented at the Section of Business Law Section Spring Meeting in Boston, MA.

Each winner will receive all expenses paid by the Section to attend the 2011 Spring Meeting in Boston, MA to collect his/her prize.


The papers will be judged on research and analysis, choice of topic, writing style, originality, and contribution to the literature available on the topic. Depending on the topic, prior publication, and other factors, a previously unpublished first place winning essay may be considered for publication in a Section publication.


“Business Law” is a broad category. Without attempting to define the area precisely, the subject is intended to include matters within law school curricula in courses entitled:

Business Law
Business Organizations
Commercial Law
Consumer Law
Corporate Finance
Corporate Governance
Creditor’s Rights
Financial Institutions
Employment Law
Insurance Law
Oil and Gas Law
Professional Responsibility
Secured Transactions
Securities Regulations
Uniform Commercial Code