2025 Annual Lincoln Award Writing Contest Rules

Abraham Lincoln

  1. This competition is open to all lawyer members of the Illinois State Bar Association under the age of 37 years on July 1, 2024, or were admitted to the bar less than seven years as of that date. ISBA Law Student Members who will be admitted to the bar on or before Dec. 31, 2024, also are eligible.
  2. Subject to the requirements of Rule 1, coauthorship of a manuscript is permitted in the contest; all participants in the drafting of the manuscript must be designated as coauthors. Authors may participate in the writing of only one entry per contest. Authors may also use research assistants (law students, law clerks, etc.) and shall acknowledge in an appropriate footnote the name(s) of such assistant(s).
  3. Notice of intent to enter the competition shall be filed with the Illinois State Bar Association no later than July 15, 2024. Please use our online form. The names of entrants will be held in confidence until judging of articles has been completed.
  4. Authors are allowed to write on legal topics of their choosing. Manuscripts will be judged on 1) significance of subject, practicality and timeliness, 2) quality of research and legal analysis, and 3) clarity and style.
  5. A brief outline of the article must be submitted on or before Aug. 15, 2024. Email the outline as a Word attachment to Jean Fenski at jfenski@isba.org. Please include your complete contact information.
  6. Manuscripts, including footnotes, shall be no longer than 3,000 words. Feel free to include tables, charts, graphs, or other figures. Any citations should be in footnote form, not in the body of the manuscript. Avoid lengthy footnotes, using them for citations only except in rare cases (no string cites, please). Citations should be consistent with the Style Manual for the Supreme and Appellate Courts of Illinois which largely adheres to A Uniform System of Citation (the Bluebook).
  7. Entrants’ names shall appear only on a separate title page, which will be removed when a number is assigned the entry. The title page should also contain a one- or two-sentence summary or story line of the article and a one sentence biography for each author, including your email address unless you don’t want it published.
  8. In addition to the title page, each manuscript shall include a separate page from the author (or authors) in which he or she certifies (or they certify) that the article submitted has not had prior publication in any form, that it will not be submitted for publication elsewhere, and that the author transfers ownership to the Illinois State Bar Association.
  9. The manuscript must be sent via email as a Word attachment to the Illinois State Bar Association no later than noon Sept. 26, 2024. Manuscripts sent later than noon Sept. 26, will not be eligible for the contest. Email your manuscript to Jean Fenski at jfenski@isba.org (facsimile or postal delivery not allowed).
  10. Winners will be announced by Feb. 2025. At least one of the winning articles will be considered for publication in the Feb. 2025 issue of the Illinois Bar Journal. Other papers, whether winning or not, will be considered for publication in subsequent issues.
  11. The $5,000 in prize money will be allocated as follows: $2,500 for first, $1,500 for second, and $1,000 for third place. Lincoln Award plaques also will be given to all winners.
  12. Lincoln Award winners shall be eligible to enter succeeding competitions.