The Yale Law Journal

Announcing the Third Yale Law Journal Forum Student Essay Competition

Ela A. Leshem
16 Jun 2019

The Yale Law Journal is excited to announce its third annual Student Essay Competition. The Competition is open to law students and recent graduates nationwide. Up to three winners will be awarded a $300 cash prize. Winning submissions will be published in the Yale Law Journal Forum, YLJ’s online component. All Forum Essays are fully searchable and available on LexisNexis, Westlaw, and our website. Information on the winning Essays from last year, and the Essays themselves, can be found on our website.

Competition Topic: Emerging Issues in Immigration Law

The goal of this competition is for the next generation of legal scholars and practitioners to reflect on emerging legal problems and challenges. This year, submissions should focus on novel issues in immigration law, broadly understood. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: asylum, refugee, and human rights globally; the meaning of borders and citizenship; children and the immigration system; immigration-reform legislation; and the immigration-court system. We welcome topics in other related areas as well and hope to receive both clinical and academic submissions.

Eligibility and Submission Details

The competition is open to all current law students and recent graduates (JDs and LLMs from the Classes of 2015-2022) from any ABA-accredited law school. Each individual may submit only one previously unpublished Essay, and Essays may not be submitted to other law reviews during the competition period.

The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2019. Submissions must be no longer than 5,000 words, including footnotes. Essays must be submitted via the YLJ online submissions portal. Submissions should be uploaded in the “Yale Law Journal Forum Faculty & Practitioner Submission” category. A selection committee from Volume 129 of the Yale Law Journal will consider all submissions anonymously. Winners will be announced by October 18, 2019. Authors who submit winning Essays commit to publication in the Yale Law Journal Forum and agree to participate in our full editing process. This process involves both structural and substantive suggestions, as well as sourceciting for content and adherence to Bluebook style.

Please submit Essays as a Word document. Your submission should be titled “YLJ Essay Competition - [ESSAY TITLE]” and include a header with “YLJ Essay Competition” in the main text of your document. To ensure blind review, please do not include any identifying information, including name, class year, or institution, in the Essay’s body or metadata.

Disbursement of the cash prize to each winner is subject to any applicable tax reporting and withholding requirements.

Please direct questions about the Student Essay Competition to Managing Editors Josh Blecher-Cohen ( and Peter Kallis ( We look forward to reading your submissions!