FFRF announces 2020 law student essay contest — $10,000 in awards

Law Student Essay

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is delighted to announce its second annual essay competition for law school students.

Law school students from all over the country are invited to submit a 1,500-word essay on “Are ‘No Aid’ Clauses Constitutional?” The contest is awarding $10,000 in prize money, with $4,000 for first place, $3,000 for the second and $2,000 for third place, plus $500 discretionary awards for honorable mentions. Eligible entrants will receive a full one-year complimentary student membership in FFRF, including a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper, which publishes winning student essays. The deadline is midnight of March 15, 2020. Students will be notified by early summer if they win.

FFRF has chosen the essay topic with great thought. The Supreme Court will decide an important case involving the separation of state and church during the 2019-2020 term. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court will address whether a decision by the Montana Supreme Court prohibiting state aid for tuition at religious schools based on the state constitution’s “No Aid” clause violates the Free Exercise Clause. Many other states have similar “No Aid” clauses that prohibit taxpayer money from going to religious schools.

Law students are asked to write an essay exploring one legal argument defending the constitutionality of Montana’s “No Aid” provision or rebutting one argument that the clause is unconstitutional.

The contest is open to all ongoing law school students attending a North American law school. You remain eligible to enter this contest if you will graduate from law school by spring or summer of 2020. You are not eligible to enter if you will be starting law school for the first time in the fall of 2020.

Contest entrants are asked to fill out an online form, which also details other requirements, and attach the essay.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is eager to again learn from — and honor — the brightest legal student brains in the United States.

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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