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 juniors or seniors 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.
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.
This is a closed-universe essay question, meaning that only the facts as they are written, and the authorities provided, should be considered when you prepare a response to the essay question posed.
The facts presented should be considered as undisputed. In your analysis, you must accept the facts as-is, meaning you must take them exactly as they are written. You are not permitted to make up any facts that are not provided in the record, or make any assumptions based on the facts as they are presented.
While completing this essay task, you should refrain from looking to any other sources for information. Additional outside research may interfere with completing the task as instructed, which is to analyze and evaluate the issues presented and to draw a legal conclusion using only the sources cited in the authority. Additionally, you are not permitted to cite from any authority other than the law and cases provided in the ‘authorities’ sections. This means you cannot use or rely on newspaper articles, law review articles, or any other sources which you believe are be relevant to the question presented. The purpose of prohibiting other sources in your analysis is to see how effectively you are able to craft a legal argument using only the sources of information provided to you.
Additionally, outside sources may lead you believe there is a right or wrong answer. However, for purposes of this essay, there is no right or wrong conclusion to each of the questions posed, and your essay will not be evaluated based on the conclusion you reach. Instead, your essay will be evaluated based upon your analysis that leads to your conclusion in each of the three issues. Therefore, you should attempt to compare the facts of the cases provided in the authority to the facts of the instant case as a persuasive tool to reason why the court should decide one way or another.
Your essay should be 2,000 words or less.
Your essay will be judged based upon how effectively you’ve articulated the law and court cases, and applied them to the fact pattern provided to reach a conclusion. You will be evaluated based upon how well you articulate the law, and the reasoning you offer to support your conclusions for each issue. Please be sure to include any proper citations when citing a law or a case, as you will be evaluated on your ability to attribute a particular law or reasoning to a source.
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.
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|