Columbia Undergraduate Law Review High School Essay Contest

Columbia Undergraduate Law Review High School Essay Contest is a writing competition for high school students interested in exploring legal issues and honing their writing skills. This annual contest provides a platform for young scholars to engage with complex legal topics, express their perspectives, and showcase their analytical abilities.
Interested in the competition?
Columbia Undergraduate Law Review High School Essay Contest

Competition Overview

Current high school students
Entry fee
June 21, 2024
Submission deadline
First week of August
Results and winners are notified

Competition Details

1. Eligibility
This competition is open internationally to all current high school students (recent graduates not included). 

2. Contest Theme
Freedom of Speech and Social Media: The Battle Between Censorship and Misinformation

Freedom of speech, a principle embedded in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, is regarded as a pinnacle of American freedom. The First Amendment allows one to speak against the government without consequence and to engage in discussion with those who hold differing opinions. In the current social media age, free speech frequently occurs on online platforms that are monitored by corporations such as Meta and X. An interesting case currently on the Supreme Court docket, Murthy v. Missouri, will analyze whether and how social media platforms can limit freedom of speech to reduce misinformation – an issue that would not have reached the docket 10 years ago.

2. Prompt Question
Given the importance of the First Amendment regarding the freedom of expression and the right to access information, do you believe that removing harmful ideas is an adequate way to combat misinformation on social media platforms and the internet? Your essay should balance the principle of free speech with the value of suppressing speech that could lead to societal harm, such as COVID-19 medical misinformation or hate speech. Discuss in your response whether you think restricting speech, for any reason, should be allowed under the First Amendment.

3. Prompt Requirements

  • Your response must make reference to at least one court case or legal document. You are welcome to use the case or legislation mentioned in the prompt.
  • No more than 1,500 words with the Chicago citation format 
  • All essays should be submitted as PDF files.
  • Each contestant may only submit one essay for consideration

4. Winners
The winning essay will be published on the CULR website, the winner and runners-up will be invited to a speaker event hosted by CULR on free speech and social media.

Columbia Undergraduate Law Review Past Winning Submissions

Join our competition prep classes now!

Scroll to Top