Essay Prize for Aspiring Law Students

Trinity College was pleased to launch the Robert Walker Prize for Essays in Law in 2013. The prize is named after an Honorary Fellow of the College, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and former law student at Trinity. Lord Walker has for many years been a supporter of Law at Trinity, meeting students at college social events as well as more formally, judging moots (legal debates) and helping to connect the practice of law with its academic study.

The Robert Walker Prize has three objectives:

  • to encourage students with an interest in Law to explore that interest by researching, considering and developing an argument about a legal topic of importance to modern society;
  • to encourage those interested in Law to apply for a university course in Law; and
  • to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students, from whatever background they may come.

The 2017 competition has closed. The topic for the 2018 competition will be announced in February 2018.

The rules for the competition are as set out below:

  • Essays can be of any length up to 2,000 words (including any footnotes)
  • Entries should be sent by email to and comprise a single document, including the front page as the first page.  Please name the file “WalkerEP.[Surname_FirstName]”.
  • If there are special reasons why a potential candidate cannot submit an essay online, a request exceptionally to submit in hard copy may be made. Requests will be considered by the Law Fellows. Please contact the Admissions Office at Trinity College Cambridge, CB2 1TQ
  • The competition is open to everyone in Year 12 and 13 (or equivalent – penultimate or final year of school). Any individual student may enter the competition only once.
  • Candidates may discuss the subject matter of the essay with other students and teachers at their school; however, the formulation of the argument and the writing of the essay must be the work of the student alone.
  • Essays will be assessed by reference to a range of factors, including the development of argument, the quality of expression and the appropriate use of supporting facts and material.
  • The first prize will be an award of £300 and the second prize an award of £200; the prizes can be shared. A separate first and/or second prize may be awarded to international entrants as opposed to UK entrants at the discretion of the Law Fellows. The authors of the top ten essays will be invited to Trinity to see the College and meet the Law Fellows.
  • The decisions of the judges are final; no correspondence will be entered into. Essays will not be returned, so candidates should keep a copy for their own reference.