Second Annual Criminal Record Policy Essay Competition and Scholarship for law students, sponsored by The Foundation for Continuing Justice and the Law Firm of Higbee & Associate is going to be organised.

More than $3,000 will be awarded to the 5 winners.

For our second annual law student writing competition, our goal is to continue to increase awareness of the impact of laws governing the retention and dissemination of criminal records by courts and state agencies, as well as the laws governing the public’s use of such records.

In order for criminal record laws to improve, today’s law students need to understand the impact that these laws have on former offenders and society as a whole. Since the law students of today will write the laws of tomorrow they will require a solid understanding of the issues that have the potential to cause social injustice.

Our second annual competition will be judged by a diverse panel of judges representing practitioners, academics and business professionals in the background check industry. Along with a first, second and third prize, there will be a prize for best research and best policy recommendations.

The purpose of the contest is to help students gain an understanding of the many facets of criminal records such as how they are currently handled, how they affect people’s lives, and how the laws that affect them can be improved.

Essay Topics:

Please choose one of the following:

  • How to improve expungement related laws in (state of your choice)
  • When, if ever, should government stop reporting criminal records to the public?
  • What effects do criminal records have on former offenders ability to re-assimilate?

Essay Competition Rules:

To be eligible the student must be:

  • 18 years or older and currently enrolled in any Juris Doctor (JD) law program in the United States or its territories.
  • Only one essay submission per law student is allowed.
  • As a condition of receiving the award, winner agrees to submit a completed W-9. Winner is responsible for all taxes associated with receiving the award.
  • The awarded funds are to be used to pay for law school-related expenses.
  • The essay should be approximately 2,000 to 3,500 words in length.
  • The content submitted must be the law student author’s own work and must not have been submitted for publication elsewhere.
  • By submitting an essay, entrants are granting the competition’s sponsors the right to reproduce the essay on any of their web sites.


  • First Place: $2,000.00
  • Second Place: $1,000.00
  • Third Place: $300.00
  • $200 Honorable Mention

Submission Deadline:

  • All Essays Are Due By June 30, 2018
  • The Winners Will Be Announced On Or Before July 31, 2018

How to Apply:

Please submit your essay via the online form below. Once we receive your submission, we will send you a confirmation email.

Please upload your essay in PDF format. The PDF should include your essay and have it named as “2016-firstname-lastname-scholarship-essay.pdf”.

Also include the name of the law school that you are enrolled in and your email address for that school which we can contact you from to confirm that you are a law student.

The winners grant and the Foundation for Continuing Justice permission to post their winning essay on and/or our social media accounts. The essay must be original content and we will be using software to check that it is not plagiarized.


For queries, please click here.

For the Official Website, click here.