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Image of Photo of prize ceremony 2019

Essay prizes

Jesus College currently offers one annual essay prize to potential students. 

The Lord Toulson Essay Prize in Law

This annual essay prize is awarded to a secondary school student who shows an outstanding understanding of, and ability in, law.

Herbert Smith Freehills has sponsored the prize

The Lord Toulson Essay Prize in Law, in honour of the late Lord Roger Toulson, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, is sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills. It is intended to give students a chance to engage with important legal debates and to explore the kind of issues that they would be exposed to in a Cambridge law degree. Each candidate is assessed on their ability to think critically about the question and on the quality and originality of the argument made.

The prize is open to students worldwide who are in their final or penultimate year of school. The next prize will be awarded at a ceremony hosted by Jesus College in summer 2021.


  • First Prize: £300
  • Second Prize: £200
  • Third Prize: £100

These prizes can be shared, at the discretion of the Law Fellows.

Up to ten candidates may also receive an Honourable Mention certificate and be invited to the prize ceremony at Jesus College.


The 2021 topic is '"The government should take control of unoccupied homes and allocate them to the homeless." Discuss.'

Please note; the citation of English case law is neither required nor expected. This is a reflective, philosophical exercise, not a research project.  The word limit is strictly1,500 words in length. Footnotes should be kept to an absolute minumum.

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.


Entries should be sent via email to and should include the completed cover page as a single document. Please name the file with “TEP2021 [Surname_FirstName]“.

The deadline for entries is Friday 30 April 2021. Late entries will not be considered.

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