Scholarships > Rules


Federal Circuit Bar Association's Scholarship Application & Rules

The 2024 Scholarship Application Window is open from April 1, 2024 through April 15, 2024.


Please review the rules below and fill out the application here. You can download and fill out the scholarship cover page for your application here.

Who may apply?

Students (a) pursuing a juris doctor degree, (b) enrolling for the upcoming academic year (i.e., 2024/2025) in any law school accredited by the American Bar Association, (c) having financial need, and (d) showing a demonstrable interest in one of the many topics that lie within the procedure, substance, or scope of the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (e.g., international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, certain money claims against the United States government, federal personnel, and veterans’ benefits). Students with interests solely in such areas as family, public interest, bankruptcy, or criminal law, for example, need not apply. Students pursuing advanced degrees (e.g., LL.M.) need not apply. Note: Scholarships awarded in any given year vary depending on the characteristics of applicants and on monies deemed available by the Federal Circuit Bar Association Charitable and Educational Fund (Fund) for that year. Administration of the program rests in the full and sole discretion of the Fund.

How to apply?
Please apply online from this webpage. You must also upload a single PDF format file on that page that includes each of the following: (1)scholarship cover page; (2) curriculum vitae; (3) undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate and law school transcripts; and (4) an original, typed essay written by the applicant alone. The essay is limited to no more than 450 words, on one page, and should address the applicant’s financial need, any interests in particular areas of the law, and any specific qualifications for a particular scholarship considered relevant by the applicant (i.e., please highlight which scholarship you feel you are best qualified to receive). Applications may include unofficial transcripts and need not include a letter of recommendation. For those applicants who will begin law school in the upcoming (i.e., 2024/2025) academic year and cannot provide a law school transcripts, please submit a copy of your letter of acceptance to law school.

Any inquiry related to the application may be sent to the Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs of the FCBA Scholarship Committee, Richard McNeely,, Jacob Schroeder,, Gabe Bell, and Jennifer Doan, Please identify your submission by “FCBA Scholarship Submission” in the “Subject” line. Unfortunately, the Association cannot process incomplete applications, nor will the Association contact an individual noting the deficiencies in the application because the volume of applications is robust.

Who judges the scholarship applications?
The applications are evaluated by those members of the Association who comprise the Scholarship Screening Committee. There are currently six members on the Committee.

How and when will I be notified if I am awarded a scholarship?
A representative of the Association will contact each scholarship winner by telephone, and then by email and/or US mail, on or before May 31, 2024. Applicants need not make follow-up inquiries about the status of their applications.

Which scholarship should I apply for?
Please submit only one application, regardless of the scholarship you believe you are most qualified to receive, because the Association considers each application with the criteria of all of the different scholarships in mind. Thus, one application renders the applicant eligible for all of the available scholarships.

The Association offers two different categories of scholarships: “Judicial” and “Association.” Judicial Scholarships include the Howard T. Markey Memorial Scholarship, the Helen W. Nies Memorial Scholarship, and the Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Scholarship. The Association Scholarships are based primarily on need as well as an academic background relevant to the Federal Circuit. Again, each Association Scholarship is contingent upon the availability of funds and other factors.

Judicial Scholarships
Howard T. Markey Memorial Scholarship: An award of $10,000 to honor the memory of Howard T. Markey, the first Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Like the other Fund scholarships, this scholarship seeks out law students demonstrating academic promise, economic need, and an interest in the subject matter of the Federal Circuit’s legal community. The Howard T. Markey scholarship also emphasizes a commitment to public service as a remembrance of Howard T. Markey’s unique contribution of values driven by a lifetime committed to the public. Only one Howard T. Markey Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year. If awarded, the scholarship is presented at the Association’s Annual Dinner in November.

Helen W. Nies Memorial Scholarship: An award of $10,000 honors the memory of Helen W. Nies, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Special considerations for the Helen W. Nies scholarship include: (a) encouraging the participation of women lawyers in the legal profession, (b) recognizing the contributions of women lawyers to society in general, (c) highlighting academic excellence, (d) addressing need, and (e) advancing the interest of women law students in intellectual property. Only one Helen W. Nies Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year. If awarded, the scholarship is presented at the Association’s Annual Dinner in November.

Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Scholarship: An award of $10,000 honors the memory of Giles S. Rich, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and an author of the 1952 Patent Act. Law students who apply for the Giles S. Rich award should show financial need and reflect academic excellence. They also should consistently demonstrate a dedication to the law, the rule of law, and our court system. Only one Giles S. Rich Scholarship is awarded each year. If awarded, the scholarship is presented at the Association’s Bench & Bar® Conference in June.

The Association Scholarships
Board Scholarship: An award of $10,000 will be given. The Board Scholarship seeks to encourage law students showing financial need and demonstrating both academic excellence and outstanding leadership. Only one Board Scholarship is awarded each year. If awarded, the scholarship is presented at the Association’s Annual Dinner in November.

Association Founder's Scholarships: Depending on available funds and other factors, the Association may also consider awarding additional scholarships based primarily on need. The number of these scholarships is limited by monies available. Recently, the Association was able to award three of these scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each. If awarded, scholarships are announced at the Association's Bench & Bar® Conference in June.

Veterans Scholarship: An award of $5,000 to be given to a U.S. Veteran. The award is based primarily on economic need, along with academic promise and an interest in the subject matter of the Federal Circuit's legal community are considered. If awarded, the scholarship is announced at the Association's Annual Dinner in November.


2024 George Hutchinson Writing Competition

The submission window opens on April 19, 2024. Please send your submissions here.

2024 George Hutchinson Writing Competition Rules

1. Students enrolled for the 2023/2024 school year in any law school accredited by the American Bar Association are eligible to enter. Pre-registration is not necessary. Submission of a paper in accordance with these rules constitutes registration.

2. All papers shall be prepared during the 2023/2024 school year. Papers shall be the sole work product of the student. Normal comment and guidance by law school faculty is permitted.

3. Papers are typically about 20-30 pages in length. Papers shall not exceed 50 pages, including footnotes. They must be typed, double-spaced, on 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper. All citations and footnotes should be in accordance with the current edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.

4. Papers must deal with a topic that lies within the substance, procedure, or scope of the specialized jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

5. The writing competition is judged by selected members of the FCBA. The papers will be judged generally on their substance, clarity, timeliness, and quality of argument, although details of form will not be ignored.

6. Papers are judged anonymously. The entrant's name and school should not appear on the uploaded document or file name. Contact information for the entrant will be requested during submission. Please be sure the email and/or telephone number provided will be valid during the late summer/early fall when winning notification will be made.

7. Entries must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2024.

Questions about the contest or submission process should be addressed to:

Miles Sweet

8. A cash prize of at least three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) will be awarded for the entry deemed by the judges to be the best entry that merits the award. Second and third place cash prizes may also be awarded at the judges' discretion. Winners will be publicly announced at the FCBA’s November 2024 Annual Dinner in Washington, D.C. The prize-winning paper may be considered for publication in the Federal Circuit Bar Journal. All decisions of the judges are final.

9. Submission of a paper grants the FCBA the right to consider publication of the paper in the Federal Circuit Bar Journal. Previously published submissions will not be accepted. The FCBA reserves the right to publish the paper first, at which point the author may proceed with publication elsewhere. Failure of the student to preserve this grant may result in disqualification.

10. The FCBA reserves the right to screen entries and to limit the number of papers submitted to the judges for final decision. The Association also reserves the right to not award a prize, should there be no entry that, in the discretion of the FCBA, merits the award.

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