The Warren E. Burger Prize 

Burger Prize Purpose

The American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize is a writing competition designed to promote scholarship in the areas of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence.

Burger Prize Overview

The American Inns of Court invites judges, lawyers, professors, students, scholars, and other authors to participate in the competition. Please submit an original, unpublished, essay of 10,000 to 20,000 words on a topic of your choice addressing issues of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence.

Burger Prize Judges

  • Prof. Robert M. Wilcox, Chair—Professor of Law, South Carolina School of Law
  • Prof. Lonnie T. Brown, Jr.—A. Gus Cleveland Distinguished Chair of Legal Ethics and Professionalism & Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Prof. Nora Freeman Engstrom—Co-Director, Stanford Center on the Legal Profession and Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
  • Prof. W. Bradley Wendel—Edwin H. Woodruff Professor of Law, Cornell Law School


  • The author of the winning essay will receive a cash prize
  • The prize will be presented to the recipient at the American Inns of Court annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States

Burger Prize Procedures

  • Review and follow the Warren E. Burger Prize Rules
  • Complete the Warren E. Burger Cover Page before submitting your essay
  • Send the completed cover page and essay no later than July 1 by e-mail to Cindy Dennis

For additional information, contact Cindy Dennis at (571) 319-4703 or by e-mail.

The winning essay will be announced on or before August 31.

Support This Program! 

If you would like to help support the long-term success of this program with a multi-year pledge, please visit our Howard T. Markey Endowment Fund page.