Warren E. Burger Prize Rules
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
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
- Announcement of winner: August
- Presentation: During our Celebration of
Excellence, which is held annually in late October at the
Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
Warren E. Burger Prize Submission Information
- Submissions must be original and unpublished works of
10,000-20,000 words including footnotes.
- Either independent or collaborative submissions are
- Please designate co-authors if more than one participant
drafted the final submission.
- Research assistants shall be acknowledged by name in an
- Each author or co-author may participate in only one entry per
- A complete submission includes an electronic file containing
both the completed cover page and the essay.
- Incomplete submissions will not be considered.
An electronically-signed cover page should be attached to the
submission. The completed form should be typed or printed
Awards and Scholarships Coordinator
- 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
- Incomplete submissions and submissions postmarked later than
July 11 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 August 31 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
- 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.