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Writing Competitions for Law Students: Villanova Law Competitions

Villanova Law Library Excellence in Student Research Prize


To be eligible to win, applicants must: 

  • Be of 2L (JD), 3L (JD), or LLM status at Villanova University Charles Widger School 
  • Have written a scholarly research paper in the time period spanning June, 2021 – May, 2022.   
  • Only one paper may be submitted per applicant.


Acceptable entries: 

  • May include papers written for a seminar course or directed research (journal notes and work product generated through externships or employment will not be accepted) 
  • Must be a minimum of 10 pages in length 
  • Must be written in proper Bluebook format  
  • Must be properly footnoted 

Entries must be accompanied by: 

  • The author’s name, law school year, degree anticipated, and contact information.  
  • A one-page abstract summarizing the research process involved, the lessons learned from that research process, the original purpose for which the paper was written, and the professor for whom the paper was written, if applicable.   

Application Procedure: 

Applications may be submitted in Word format via email to Jason Happ:  



Submissions will be accepted until Monday, May 2, 2022.  Applicants will receive email confirmation of their submission after receipt of all required materials.  The winner will be notified by Friday, May 5, 2022.   

Selection Criteria:

A panel composed of law librarians will judge submissions based on how well they demonstrate the following: 

  • Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of research materials, including, but not limited to, print resources, electronic search engines and databases, primary and secondary legal resources, interdisciplinary resources, and empirical resources 
  • Exceptional innovation in research strategy, including the ability to locate, select, and evaluate research materials with discretion 
  • Skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis 



  • The winner will receive a monetary prize of $150. 
  • The winner will be invited to publish their paper in the digital repository of the Villanova Law Library.  Here, papers are provided with exposure to the global community, including scholars, researchers, and potential employers.   
  • The winner will also be invited to contribute to a law library display about their research for public exhibition during the year following receipt of the prize.