Benjamin and David Scharps Legal Essay Award

This award requires university nomination or interview and cannot be applied to directly. Students must work with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships and meet university deadlines.


The Benjamin and David Scharps Memorial Award was established in the will of Hannah S. Hirschhorn in honor of her brothers, Benjamin and David Scharps who were attorneys. The gift for the award was accepted by the SUNY Board of Trustees in 1974. The funds have been used to award undergraduate students who are prelaw or have an interest in legal studies. As per the bequest, the prize is awarded to a student who writes the best legal essay on the subject determined by the chancellor or designee.  

First prize is $1,500, second prize is $1,000.


Friday, January 19, 2024

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be a junior undergraduate.
  • Be interested in legal issues or pursuing a career in the legal field.

How to Apply

Complete application cover sheet and submit a 2,000 word essay on topic selected by SUNY. Submission must be in standard essay format. Endnotes and footnotes are acceptable. No pictures or illustrations are to be included.

Selection Process

A UB campus committee that includes faculty with legal backgrounds will select the top three essays which will then be submitted to compete at the SUNY level.

Campus Contact

Past Award Recipients and Honorees







Field(s) of Study




2021 Timothy Allaire Second Place Political Science Silver Creek, NY
2020 Timothy Allaire Recipient Political Science Silver Creek, NY
2018 Joseph Wolf Recipient Social Science Interdisciplinary Getzville, NY
2018 Ethan Wolfson Second Place English  
2017 Brittany Herbert Second Place Social Science Interdisciplinary and African American Studies