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Third Constantine Cannon Law School Scholarship Essay Contest on the Importance of Whistleblowers

Posted  April 4, 2024

Attention all law students!  It is that time of year again.  Time to share with us your thoughts on what it means to be a whistleblower.  That is what our law school scholarship contest is all about.  Hearing from our future leaders of the Bar on the importance of whistleblowers and instilling in you at this formative stage in your careers the much-needed recognition of and appreciation for the critical role whistleblowers play in serving the public good.  So please read on to learn about the contest and what it takes to be one of this year’s five winners.  And most importantly, let us know what you have to say!


Who Can Enter

Participants must be enrolled (or accepted for Fall admission) in an accredited U.S. law school.


What You Can Win 

  • First Place: $1,000
  • Second Place: $500
  • Third Place: $400
  • Fourth Place: $300
  • Fifth Place: $250

Winning essays also will be posted on our Whistleblower Insider blog, which reaches more than 10,000 readers a month.


Application Deadline

You must submit your essay by July 1, 2024.

How to Submit

Email your essay to WBscholarship@constantinecannon.com

In the subject line put WB SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY

In the body of the email please put the following:

  • First and Last Name
  • Phone Number
  • Univeristy Attending
  • Graduation Year


When Winners Will Be Selected

Your essays will be reviewed by members of the Constantine Cannon whistleblower team and winners will be announced by Sept. 15, 2024.


Who We Are

Constantine Cannon is a law firm with offices located in New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco, specializing in antitrust and whistleblower law.  Our whistleblower practice is one of the largest and most successful whistleblower practices in the country, primarily focused on representing whistleblowers under the False Claims Act, the Whistleblower Programs of the SECCFTC and IRS, and the numerous other federal and state whistleblower programs.


Essay Topic — The Importance of Whistleblowers

This is a gilded age for whistleblowers.  Relatively speaking that is.  It was not all that long ago that whistleblowers were treated as mere opportunists ratting out their friends or colleagues.  Squealing not for the greater good, but for a quick buck, or to cover up their own failings or misdeeds.  Many still see it that way.  After all, we are trained at an early age that nobody likes a snitch.

But a new mindset has emerged — where getting involved is actually the right thing to do; where if you see something, you are supposed to say something.  And with this new outlook has come some additional prodding from a host of newly energized whistleblower protection and rewards laws, which provide further incentive for these newfound heroes to step forward.

And we seem to read about them all the time.  This one who reported on the pharmaceutical giant selling defective or mislabeled drugs.  That one who reported on the medical clinic billing for services it never performed.  Or the one who reported on the securities scheme that bilked investors out of billions of dollars.  The list goes on and on, touching virtually every industry in the country.

But while improving considerably, significant challenges for whistleblowers persist.  Retaliation is as virulent as ever.  And it is not just a cold shoulder from colleagues or superiors, or simply being excluded from work decisions or assignments.  It even goes beyond demotions, pay cuts, and firings.  The retaliation often includes harassment and, in some cases, even physical violence.  And it is not just happening within corporate America.  It is just as rampant within the hallowed halls of some of our most respected government agencies.

Even mainstream America continues to maintain a sense of ambivalence, for some even downright hostility, towards whistleblowers.  Look at how they are commonly depicted in our everyday lexicon by Thesaurus.com and Merriam-Webster, the two leading resources for everything word-related.  Of the dozens of synonyms these publications use to describe whistleblowers to their tens of millions of monthly visitors, the vast majority of them are deeply derogatory and paint the whistleblower as dishonest, disloyal and driven by unsavory motives — “Betrayer,” “Blabbermouth,” “Fink,” “Rat,” “Snitch,” “Squealer,” and “Tattletale” to name just a few.

Is it any wonder that despite the progress we have made in recognizing the importance of whistleblowers, a negative perception of whistleblowers persists?  That is where you come in. As the future guardians of justice in this country, we want to hear from you on what whistleblowers mean to you or on your own personal whistleblower experience.  We would like you to write an essay between 250 and 750 words that addresses one or more of the following subjects:

  • What it means to be a whistleblower.
  • A whistleblower act you personally have experienced.
  • A whistleblower who has inspired you.
  • The importance of whistleblowers in promoting transparency in government and protecting the health and safety of the public.


We look forward to reading what you have to say.  Good luck!