Race & the Law Essay Prize – Submit by May 7th

The Society’s Race and the Law Essay Prize recognizes and encourages outstanding scholarship by law students in Nova Scotia, on topics pertaining specifically to issues of race and law. The Society’s Racial Equity Committee presents the award and Stewart McKelvey sponsors the award. Read previous Race & the Law Essay Prize recipient papers.


Applicants must be currently or previously enrolled in the JD program at the Schulich School of Law. The essay must have been written in the past 24 months for the JD program.


The successful essay must demonstrate ‘race’ literacy insight. That is, it should demonstrate confidence, ease and skill in addressing ‘race’. The essay must also integrate ‘race’ in a broad legal context and explicitly communicate novel insights that contribute to the emerging scholarship on ‘race’ and the law.

Scholarship on ‘race’ and the law includes, but is not limited to, discussions of the construction of ‘race’, the experience of legal institutions by racialized persons, and the law as it affects Indigenous peoples and issues of cultural diversity.

‘Race’ and the law may factor into any of the content areas of legal scholarship such as Contracts, Tax, Employment, Human Rights, Administrative, Jurisprudence, Constitutional, Aboriginal or International Law. In short, students should not feel limited in how they interpret and write about the topic of ‘race’ and the law.

Criteria, Submission & Deadline

Essays will be judged on form, content and ‘race’ literacy insight.

Applicants must email a PDF or MS Word version of their essay to the NSBS Equity Officer (equity@nsbs.org). Each paper must be accompanied by an abstract that clearly articulates the ‘race’ literacy aspects of the paper. Papers are accepted until May 7, 2021.

Notification & Award

The successful applicant will be notified in May 2021. The successful applicant will receive a plaque and a cash prize of $500 at the Schulich School of Law Discretionary Awards Reception.