2025 Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest

Abraham Lincoln

Dear YLD Member:

You’re out in the trenches ... you know the hot topics in your field-–the new statutes, the important new cases, the legal developments that you and your colleagues grapple with in the real world of lawyering.

We invite you to share your hard-won knowledge and maybe win $2,500 in prize money by entering the Annual Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest.

We’re looking for useful, practical articles on topics important to practicing lawyers. The highest scores will go to manuscripts that Illinois lawyers can use in their practices and that are written in a no-nonsense, plain-English style.

Winners Receive:

  • 1st place - $2,500
  • 2nd place - $1,500
  • 3rd place - $1,000

If you’re an ISBA lawyer member under the age 37 as of July 1, 2024, or were admitted to the bar less than seven years as of that date, you’re eligible to compete for a share of the $5,000 in the Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest prize money and a handsome plaque for your office. And even if you don’t win, yours may be among the many Lincoln Award entries to appear in the Illinois Bar Journal.

The deadline for filing a notice to enter the contest is July 15, 2024; use our online form. A brief outline of the article must be submitted on or before Aug. 15, 2024; email the outline to Jean Fenski at jfenski@isba.org. The final deadline for manuscripts is noon Sept. 26, 2024; manuscripts should be emailed by noon to Jean Fenski at jfenski@isba.org.

The contest is sponsored by and for lawyer members of the ISBA Young Lawyers Division. A distinguished panel of judges will evaluate the entries. Please read the contest rules and if you have questions, contact Jean Fenski at jfenski@isba.org or (217) 525-1760 or 800-252-8908. Good luck!


Pete Sherman's signature

Pete Sherman
Managing Editor, Illinois Bar Journal

Read the contest rules

File your notice of intent to enter the Lincoln Award Writing Contest

Important Contest Dates to Remember

  • July 15, 2024 – Notice of intent to enter the competition shall be filed with the Illinois State Bar Association.
  • Aug. 15, 2024 – A brief outline of the article is due. Email the outline as a Word attachment to Jean Fenski at jfenski@isba.org.
  • Sept. 26, 2024 – The manuscript (including the document of certification) must be sent via email by noon. Email the manuscript as a Word attachment to Jean Fenski at jfenski@isba.orgManuscripts sent later than noon Sept. 26, 2024, will not be considered. Facsimile or postal delivery not allowed.