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Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws Scholarship

* This Scholarship Award has closed. Visit our November 2021 Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Scholarship Award.

Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws Scholarship

Paternalism or Libertarianism

As motorcycle accident lawyers, we at Ward & Ward Law Firm are proud to make this scholarship available to students interested in pursuing a legal career.


In 1966, the United States federal government offered highway construction funds to states that passed universal motorcycle helmet laws, as any motorcycle accident lawyer can explain. Forty-seven states and Washington D.C. complied but when penalties were lifted in the mid-seventies, nearly half of the states repealed or modified their laws. Today several states, Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire have no laws governing the use of helmets; 28 states have helmet laws with age and/or health insurance contingencies; 19 states and Washington D.C. require helmets be worn by all operators and riders. See current helmet laws listed by state.

American culture often rejects governmental paternalistic values [(def.) government interference that overrides the liberties of individuals for their own good], claiming their natural rights and freedoms in favor of libertarian principles [(def.) less government involvement and more personal choice].

Read this article from the American Journal of Public Health  2007 February; 97(2): 208–217, for a history of universal helmet laws.


In 750+ words, use statistical data and persuasion to make the paternalistic argument in favor of the enactment of universal helmet laws―or citing the constitution and using the art of persuasion, make the libertarian argument against universally mandated helmet legislation. Essays will be judged―not on your stance―but upon the use of a factual and persuasive argument to defend your position.

Eligibility Criteria

Award Announcement: December 2021

Scholarship Amount: $1,000

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2021

All application materials must be submitted by this date.

 Application Instructions

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