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Image of Lord Toulson with the 2016 prize winner
Lord Toulson with the 2016 prize winner Louisa

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 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 prize will be awarded at a ceremony to be held at Jesus College in late summer 2017.


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

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

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


The 2017 topic is “Should we repeal the Human Rights Act 1998?”

Essays may be up to 1,500 words in length, including any footnotes and headings.

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 “TEP2017 [Surname_FirstName]“.

Deadline: 26 April 2017. Late entries will not be considered.

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