The 17th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition

In its seventeenth year, the GRAMMY Foundation® Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) promotes discussion and debate on the most compelling legal issues facing the music industry today. The initiative also promotes future careers in entertainment law by seeking out the nation’s top law students and giving them invaluable networking and educational opportunities.


The writing contest challenges students to identify, research, and write an essay with a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry. A national panel of music law experts will judge the papers in a blind process and select five finalists.


The scholarship is co-sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA). The winning essays will be published by the GRAMMY Foundation, the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, and a major law review or journal. 


1. This contest is open to juris doctorate candidates currently enrolled at an ABA accredited law school. LL.M. and any other advanced degree candidates are not eligible.

2. Entrants must be an enrolled student as of January 1, 2015.

3. All essays must be original works specifically written for the ELI Writing Competition. Previously published works are ineligible. The submission of works previously written for academic purposes is acceptable, provided that the work is edited to meet the guidelines of the competition and is not identical to the prior academic work.

4. Co-authorship of the essay is not permitted. Papers may be reviewed by law school faculty or colleagues for editorial feedback, but such assistance may not rise to the level of co-authorship.

5. Each author may submit only one entry.

6. Previous winners and/or finalists are ineligible.

7. Entrants must identify research and write an essay with a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry.

8. Completed manuscripts and accompanying documents (to be defined below) must be submitted via email to on or before January 6, 2015 at 10am PST (1pm EST). Late manuscripts will not be considered. Hardcopy submissions will not be accepted.

9. Manuscripts shall be no longer than 3,000 words not including endnotes/footnotes. Entrants must use The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, for citation style.

10. Current contact information including address, phone number and email address must accompany the manuscript.

11. Entrants’ names shall not appear on the manuscript, but shall appear on a separate title page to be removed when a number is assigned to the entry. The title page should also contain a one or two sentence synopsis of the essay.

Important Dates:

January 6, 2015 10 am PST (1 pm EST) – Paper Submission Deadline

January 27, 2015 – Winners Announced

February 6, 2015 – Scholarship Luncheon, Los Angeles

All Winners Receive:

One GRAMMY Awards® Show Ticket

Round-Trip Airfare to the GRAMMY Awards

Hotel Accommodations

One MusiCares® Person of the Year Ticket

First-Place Winner Receives $5,000

Four Second-Place Winners Receive $1,500

For a complete list of workshop dates, competition rules, and deadlines, go to the ELI Page on Facebook or visit the website.