Stolen Art Soldiers recover a Rembrandt painting in Germany, 1945. National Archives and Records Administration #111-SC-374664

2018 Garfinkel Essay Scholarship Rules


Three prizes will be awarded through the 2018 Garfinkel Essay Scholarship to the top three submissions from CUNY Community Colleges along with selected honorable mentions:

1st Place: $1,500
2nd Place: $1,000
3rd Place: $500
Honorable Mentions: $100

This year’s winners and honorable mentions will be revealed at an awards ceremony at the Appellate Division, First Dept., 27 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010 on May 21, 2018. Students will be notified prior to the ceremony if they have won a prize. Their families, faculty mentors, and CUNY administrators will be in attendance and will meet and mingle with judges at a reception following the ceremony.


There are only a small number of requirements for the Garfinkel Essay Scholarship in addition to the eligibility requirements for students. These rules are:

  • Essays must be an original work of scholarship
  • Essays must be between 1,500 and 5,500 words
  • Essays must be doubled spaced
  • Essays must be submitted in .doc/.docx or .pdf formats
  • Essays must NOT contain any identifying information, including name, email, school and professor.


The deadline for the 2018 Garfinkel Essay Scholarship has been extended to MIDNIGHT on Monday, April 23, 2018.

Essays are being accepted immediately and can be submitted here. Revisions may be submitted for an already submitted essay, but similarly will not be accepted after the April 23rd deadline.


Plagiarism is strictly forbidden and will result in the immediate removal of the offending essay from consideration for any prizes without notification to the student who submitted the essay. The Society may contact the professor listed on a submission in the event of a suspected case of plagiarism.

Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. To avoid it be sure to clearly cite any sources you reference, paraphrase or directly quote. A good definition of plagiarism can be found on the University of Cambridge's website. Do not hesitate to contact a professor or librarian if you are unsure about a passage in your essay.


Submissions to the Garfinkel Essay Scholarship will be read by a panel of New York attorneys and judges. Judges will be assigned to a group of essays at random and do not receive any identifying information about the essays until the winners have been selected.

Essays will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the subject
  • Effective presentation of a point of view
  • Strong literary style & technique


All students pursuing a degree during the Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 semesters at a CUNY Community College are eligible to submit an essay for the 2018 Garfinkel Essay Scholarship, regardless of academic major.

The David A. Garfinkel Essay Scholarship is generously supported by Gloria & Barry Garfinkel in memory of their son David. Their support has enabled the Society to offer this contest since 2008.

The Historical Society of the New York Courts was founded in 2002 with the mission of preserving New York's rich legal history and educating the public about it through programs, publications and other projects. Visit the Society's main site.