The American Inns of Court sponsors the Warren E. Burger Prize writing competition to encourage thoughtful consideration of the practical application of the highest principles of professionalism in the American legal community. Through this competition, significant contributions to the body of scholarship in the areas of excellence, civility, ethics and professionalism are recognized and rewarded.
Authors should address one or more aspects of excellence in legal skills, civility, ethics or professionalism within the legal profession. The selected issue(s) should be of contemporary significance with clear relevance to the legal community at large.
Submission deadline: Postmarked no later than June 1
Announcement of winner: September 1
Presentation: During our Celebration of Excellence, which is held annually in late October at the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
Submissions must be original and unpublished works of 10,000–25,000 words including footnotes. Either independent or collaborative submissions are allowed. Please designate co-authors if more than one participant drafted the final submission. Research assistants shall be acknowledged by name in an appropriate footnote.
Each author or co-author may participate in only one entry per year. A complete submission includes a completed cover page, one original hard copy of the paper, and an electronic file containing both the cover page information and essay in a Microsoft Word or Corel Word Perfect document. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Submissions shall not be stapled or bound. A single binder clip should secure the cover page and the essay.
The original, signed cover page should be attached to the submission. The completed form should be typed or printed legibly.
Awards and Scholarships Coordinator
Submissions should be addressed to:
American Inns of Court
Attn: Cindy Dennis
1229 King Street, Second Floor
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
- Authors should submit essays on 8½ x 11 white paper, double-spaced, 1” margins. Use footnotes, not endnotes. The body and footnotes should be of the same typeface—Times New Roman (or equivalent), 12 point.
- Only the first page of the manuscript should contain the name of the essay. It should be in bold face, centered in the first line of the paper. The author’s name or other identifying marks or references must not appear anywhere in the body of the paper.
- Guidelines for the body of text should generally conform to any good style guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style.
- Footnotes and citations should conform to The Bluebook—A Uniform System of Citation.
- Submissions will be received, registered and checked for completeness. Cover page information will be entered into a database and the essay will be assigned a tracking number, which will be used to identify it during the entire review and judging process.
- Incomplete submissions and submissions postmarked later than June 1 will not be considered.
- Authors will be notified via e-mail (usually within 7–10 days) that their submissions have been received.
- The winner will be announced on or before September 1 and all authors will be promptly notified.
Entries will be reviewed according to a uniform system of evaluation. Review criteria includes:
- Incorporation of the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and civility in the paper
- Perspective and objectivity
- Organization in a clear and logical manner
- Appeal and persuasiveness
- Presentation and quality of literary construction
The Warren E. Burger Prize writing competition is open to all authors, scholars, judges, and lawyers. Membership or affiliation with the American Inns of Court is not a requirement for consideration.
Current and former trustees and employees of the American Inns of Court, and their immediate families may not serve as authors or co-authors of papers submitted.
The cover page is available for download above in the "Related Links" box. In the Related Links box you will also find links to essays that won previously.
For more information contact Cindy Dennis at email@example.com or (571) 319-4703.