Last call for FFRF law student essays!

2023 Law Student Essay Contest

The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants to remind secular law students of an impending deadline for its 2023 Diane and Stephen Uhl Memorial Essay Competition for Law School Students.

Law school students are being asked to write an essay that makes the argument, under current case law, that a law banning or restricting abortion should be invalidated based on the religious liberty interests of a potential plaintiff (whether the person is a nonbeliever or believer). The deadline for entry is March 15. 

FFRF will award cash prizes to the top three essayists ($4,000, $3,000, $2,000) and optional honorable mentions ($500), if so deserving. All eligible entrants will also receive a one-year complimentary student membership to FFRF, which includes a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today.

Essays will be completely blinded to avoid unintentional bias by the judges. A selection of FFRF attorneys will be on the review panel.

The contest is open to all ongoing law school students attending a North American law school. You’re eligible to enter this contest if you will graduate from law school this spring or summer. Essays must be no longer than 1,500 words (not including footnotes). For full rules and eligibility requirements, or to enter the contest, go to

“Law students are being invited to address one of the most compelling policy issues of our time,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “This gets to the root of currently raging public debates and helps make the legal case for the right to abortion as a state/church issue.”

The essay competition is named for Diane and Stephen Uhl, who were dedicated supporters of FFRF’s legal work and FFRF’s growth. In fact, FFRF’s expanded office in Madison, Wis., includes the Diane Uhl Legal Wing, the Stephen Uhl Friendly Atheist Studio and a Steinway grand piano chosen by Diane. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is honored that Diane endowed this scholarship before she died.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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