Court of Federal Claims Bar Association 2014 – 2015 Law Student Writing Competition

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association announces its 2014-2015 Law Student Writing Competition. The Court of Federal Claims Bar Association (CFCBA) is a voluntary bar association made up of nationwide members who practice law in the areas that lie within the specialized jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The goal of this competition is to promote interest in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and its distinctive role in American jurisprudence, and to encourage law student scholarship on current topics that lie within its jurisdiction.

The United States Court of Federal Claims, which hears claims against the United States, has existed in its current and predecessor forms for more than 150 years. The current court was created pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution in October 1982. Its predecessor, the United States Claims Court, was created in 1855 when Congress established a court to hear private suits against the sovereign. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims is authorized to hear primarily money claims founded upon the Constitution, federal statutes, executive regulations, or contracts, express or implied-in-fact, with the United States.

The cases before the Court are diverse. They include (but are not limited to) disputes concerning tax refunds, contracts with the government, Fifth Amendment takings (which frequently raise environmental and natural resource issues), federal civilian and military pay, intellectual property (including use by the government or its contractors of technology protected by patents or copyrights), Native American rights, federal procurement “bid protests,” and the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation program.

Entries to the contest may discuss any topic that lies within the procedure, substance, or scope of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The rules of the contest appear below.


Eligibility: Any law student in good standing currently enrolled at or graduated from an ABA accredited law school during the 2014-2015 academic year may enter the competition. Students are permitted to use as their entries (i) papers that they prepared specifically for the competition, or (ii) papers that they prepared for law school courses and seminars during the 2014-2015 academic year.


Prize(s): One cash prize of TWO Thousand Dollars ($2,000) will be awarded to the entry deemed by the judges, in their discretion, to be the best. The winner will receive significant favorable publicity to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the members of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association. It is anticipated that the winning entry will be published on the website of the Association. In addition, the Association may support other publication opportunities. Winning articles from prior years have been published in the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and in the ULCA Law Review Discourses Journal.

The winner will be announced as soon as determined, but no later than October 2015. 


1. Submission of a paper in accord with these rules constitutes registration. Pre-registration is not necessary.

2. All papers should be prepared during the 2014-15 academic year. Papers shall be the sole work product of the student. Normal comment and guidance by law school faculty is

3. Papers must address a topic that lies within the substance, procedure, or scope of the specialized jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

4. Papers will be judged by selected members of the CFCBA. The papers will be judged generally on their substance, clarity, timeliness, and quality of argument. However, details of form will not be ignored.

5. Papers will be judged anonymously. The entrant’s name and school should not appear on the paper. (See instructions below.) Students shall inform the CFCBA of any change in contact information prior to the announcement of a winner. Only one entry per student is allowed.

6. Papers should be approximately 20-30 pages in length, including footnotes, and may not exceed 40 pages in length, including footnotes. Papers must be typed in 12 point typeface (both text and footnotes), double-spaced, on 8 ½ x 11 inch paper. Footnotes may be single spaced. All citations and footnotes should be in accord with the current edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.

7. Submissions must be submitted via email to the CFCBA no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern, July, 17, 2015. Questions should be directed to the same.

Instructions for making a submission: 

a. Address the subject line of the email as “2014-15 Law Student Writing Competition.”

b. Attach the email as a PDF document.

c. Do not include your name or the name of your law school within the paper. However, within your email include:

i. Your name;

ii. Your contact information, including your email address, mailing address, and telephone number;

iii. Your year in law school;

iv. Certification that you are a student in good standing and identification of the law school you are currently attending;

v. Explanation of when and why you prepared the submission;

vi. Permission for the CFCBA and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to publish

the paper on their websites and for the CFCBA to circulate the paper to its members.

d. Each submission should include a title, which shall appear on the first page of the submission. No separate title page should be sent.

8. The CFCBA reserves the right to screen entries and to limit the number of papers submitted to the judges for final decision. The CFCBA will confirm receipt of submissions within 10 business days.

9. Submissions will not be returned to authors. Submission of a paper grants the CFCBA the  right to publish the paper on its website and in its newsletter. Previously published papers will not be accepted. Failure of the student to preserve this grant may result in disqualification. Receipt of a CFCBA award and publication by the CFCBA on its website and in its newsletter does not preclude later publication elsewhere.

10. The CFCBA reserves the right to award no prize in the event the CFCBA does not receive an entry that, in the judgment of the CFCBA, merits an award.