FFRF debuts law essay contest; $10,000 in prize money

Law Student Essay Graphic

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is delighted to announce its 2019 inaugural essay contest for law students with more than $10,000 in prize money.

The topic is “What’s wrong with ‘religious exemption or refusal’ laws?” and it’s as timely as can be. State legislatures across the country are considering or enacting a slew of “religious exemption” or “religious refusal” bills. Such bills, often misleadingly described as “conscience clauses,” may allow providers (parents, companies, landlords, health care workers, shopkeepers, etc.) to refuse services based on the provider’s personal religious beliefs.

Students are asked to pick a religious refusal bill in any state under consideration or enacted in the current legislative session and evaluate whether the bill strikes an appropriate balance between the religious rights of service providers and the civil and equal protection rights of members of the public most likely to be refused services. They’re also being asked to include analysis of what’s wrong generally with any “religious exemption or refusal” proposal.

The top six essays submitted will be awarded prizes, starting with $4,000 for first place. The prescribed word length is between 850-1,000 words, not including footnotes. The contest is open to all ongoing students up to age 30 attending a North American law school, including those graduating from law school by spring or summer of 2019. The essay is due no later than midnight, July 1, 2019. Winners will be notified in September.

“The Freedom From Religion Foundation is proud to bring the gospel of freethought to our centers of legal learning,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Law students must be made aware of the secular foundation of our country.”

Additional information and contest rules can be found at.

With more than 31,000 members, FFRF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, works as a watchdog to protect the constitutional principle of the separation of state and church. For 40 years, FFRF has served as a leading voice for freethought in America. For more information, visit www.FFRF.org.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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FFRF is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

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