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2022 Fourth Circuit Essay Contest

Thursday, February 10, 2022

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is seeking submissions for its 2022 essay contest. 

Students are invited to consider and share their thoughts on the question: "Is the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause sufficient to secure the rights of all citizens, or is the ERA necessary to promote gender equality?

The contest is open to all students currently in grades 9 through 12 from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Essays are limited to 1,000 words and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2022.

Students have the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes: first place, $2,000; second place, $1,500; and third place, $1,000.

Winners will be announced in August, and the winning essays will be presented at the court's Essay Awards Program in September 2022.

For additional information and instructions on how to submit an essay, visit

For questions, contact the Fourth Circuit Clerk’s Office at or (804) 916-2706.

Please note: Prior award winners as well as children, grandchildren, stepchildren, and members of the household of a federal judge or federal judiciary employee are excluded from the competition.