Every year, distinguished legal scholars from around the country review scholarly papers written by professors from AALS member schools. Those papers the committee deems most outstanding are selected to receive the AALS Scholarly Paper Award. The award is presented to each winning author at the AALS Annual Meeting every January. The competition’s selection committee has recognized the following outstanding papers over the last 33 years:

Winner Talia Gillis Columbia Law School “The Input Fallacy”
Honorable Mention Courtney Cox Fordham Law School “Legitimizing Lies”
Honorable Mention Nicholas Serafin Santa Clara University School of Law “Redefining the Badges of Slavery”


Winner Matthew A. Shapiro Rutgers Law School “Distributing Civil Justice”
Honorable Mention Lindsey D. Simon University of Georgia School of Law “Bankruptcy Grifters”
Honorable Mention Diego A. Zambrano Stanford Law School “Foreign Dictators in U.S. Court”
Honorable Mention Guha Krishnamurthi South Texas College of Law Houston “The Case For the Abolition of Criminal Confessions”
Co-Winner Meghan M. Boone Wake Forest University School of Law “Reproductive Due Process”
Co-Winner Jonathan Gould University of California, Berkeley School of Law “Law Within Congress”
Co-Winner Maureen E. Brady Harvard Law School “The Forgotten History of Metes and Bounds”
Co-Winner James D. Nelson University of Houston Law Center “Corporate Disestablishment”
Winner Aaron Tang University of California, Davis “Rethinking Political Power in Judicial Review”
Honorable Mention William Ortman and Daniel Epps Wayne State University, Washington University in St. Louis “The Lottery Docket”
Honorable Mention Andrew Verstein Wake Forest University “The Jurisprudence of Mixed Motives”
Winner Christopher Walker Ohio State University “Legislating in the Shadows”
Honorable Mention Mila Sohoni University of San Diego “Crackdowns”
2016 Winner Jill Fraley Washington and Lee “An Unwritten History of Waste Law”
2015 Winner David Horton University of California, Davis “In Partial Defense of Probate – Evidence from Alameda County, California”
2015 Honorable Mention Jeremy McClane University of Connecticut “Agency and Teamwork: Measuring Benefits and Unintended Consequences in Securities Transactions”
2014 Winner Christopher W. Schmidt IIT Chicago-Kent “Divided by Law: The Sit-Ins and the Role of the Courts in the Civil Rights Movement”
2014 Honorable Mention Hiro N. Aragaki Loyola Law School Los Angeles “’Contract’ or ‘Procedure’? Reinterpreting the Federal Arbitration Act”
2014 Honorable Mention Ozan O. Varol Lewis and Clark Law School “Temporary Constitutions”
2013 Winner Alexandra V. Huneeus University of Wisconsin “International Criminal Law by Other Means: The Quasi-Criminal Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Bodies”
2013 Honorable Mention Katie Eyer Rutgers University – Camden “Constitutional Colorblindness and the Family”
2012 Honorable Mention Chimène I. Keitner UC Hastings “The Forgotten History of Foreign Official Immunity”
2012 Honorable Mention Rachel Harmon Univ. of Virginia “The Problem of Policing”
2011 Co-Winner Ashira Pelman Ostrow Hofstra University “Process Preemption in Federal Siting Regimes”
2011 Co-Winner Melissa Murray Berkeley “Marriage as Punishment”
2010 Winner Christopher Bruner Washington and Lee “Power and Purpose in the ‘Anglo-American’ Corporation”
2010 Honorable Mention Brian Galle Florida State University “Foundation or Empire?  The Role of Charity in a Federal System”
2010 Honorable Mention Andrew A. Schwartz University of Colorado “A ‘Standard Clause Analysis’ of the Frustration Doctrine and the Material Adverse Change Cause”
2009 Co-Winner Laura Cisneros Texas Southern University “Standing Doctrine, Judicial Technique, and the Gradual Shift from Rights-Based Constitutionalism to Executive Constitutionalism”
2009 Co-Winner Deborah Widiss Brooklyn Law School “Shadow Precedents and the Separation of Powers: Statutory Interpretation of Congressional Overrides”
2008 Winner Anne Joseph O’Connell UC Berkeley “Political Cycles of Rulemaking”
2007 Winner Rashmi Dyal-Chand Northeastern “Human Worth as Collateral”
2007 Honorable Mention Jennifer Hendricks University of Tennessee “Essentially a Mother”
2007 Honorable Mention Alexandra Natapoff Loyola, Los Angeles “Underenforcement”
2006 Winner Mark D. Rosen University of Chicago-Kent “Was Shelley v. Kraemer Correctly Decided? – Some New Answers”
2006 Honorable Mention Sonia K. Katyal Fordham University “Semiotic Disobedience”
2005 Co-Winner Amanda L. Tyler The George Washington University “Continuity, Coherence, and the Canons”
2005 Co-Winner Mark A. Drumbl Washington and Lee University “Collective Violence and Individual Punishment: The Criminality of Mass Atrocity”
2004 Winner Norman Warren Spaulding University of California, Berkeley “Constitutions as Counter-Monument: Federalism, Reconstruction and the Problem of Collective Memory”
2004 Honorable Mention Peter Jeremy Smith The George Washington University “The Sources of Federalism: Federalists, Anti-Federalists, and the Court’s Quest for Original Meaning”
2004 Honorable Mention Grant M. Hayden Hofstra University “Resolving the Dilemma of Minority Representation”
2003 Winner Suzanne B. Goldberg Rutgers University, Newark “Equality Without Tiers”
2003 Honorable Mention Orin S. Kerr The George Washington University “The Problem of Perspective in Internet Law”
2003 Honorable Mention Guy-Uriel E. Charles University of Minnesota “Racial Identity & Political Association: Why The Racial Districting Cases Violate The Associational Rights of Voters of Color”
2002 Winner Jonathan T. Molot The George Washington University “Reexaming Marbury in the Administrative State: A Structural and Institutional Defense of Judicial Power over Statutory Interpretation”
2002 Honorable Mention Madhavi Sunder University of California, Davis “Cultural Dissent”
2001 Winner Susan D. Carle American University “Race, Class and Legal Ethics in the Early NAACP”
2001 Honorable Mention John C. Coates Harvard “Explaining Variation in Takeover Defenses: Failure in the Corporate Law Market”
2001 Honorable Mention Anupam Chander University of California, Davis “Diaspora Bonds”
2000 Winner Caleb E. Nelson University of Virginia “Preemption”
2000 Honorable Mention Annelise Riles Northwestern University “The Transnational Appeal of Formalism:  The Case of Japan’s Netting Law”
1999 Winner Alan C. Michaels Ohio State University “Constitutional Innocence”
1999 Honorable Mention Owen D. Jones Arizona State University “Sex, Culture and the Biology of Rape”
1999 Honorable Mention Maureen Ryan University of Wyoming “Fair Use and Academic Expressions:  Rhetoric, Reality and Restriction on Academic Freedom”
1999 Honorable Mention Pauline Kim Washington University “Norms, Learning and the Law:  Exploring the Influences on Workers’ Legal Knowledge”
1998 Winner Gabriel Jackson Chin Western New England “Segregation’s Last Stronghold: Race Discrimination and the Constitutional Law of Immigration”
1998 Honorable Mention Darryl K. Brown University of Dayton “Plain Meaning, Practical Reasoning, and Culpability:  Toward a Theory of Jury Interpretation of Criminal Statutes”
1998 Honorable Mention Amy Chua Duke University “Markets, Democracy, and Ethnicity:  A New Paradigm for Law and Development”
1997 Winner Bradley C. Bobertz University of Nebraska “The Brandeis Gambit: The Making of America’s ‘First Freedom,’ 1909-1931”
1997 Honorable Mention David E. Bernstein George Mason University “The Law and Economics of Post-Civil War Restrictions on Interstate Migration by African-Americans”
1997 Honorable Mention William S. Blatt University of Miami “Minority Discounts, Fair Market Value, and the Culture of Estate Taxation”
1996 Winner Lisa Kelly University of West Virginia “Race and Place: Geographic and Transcendent Community in the Post-Shaw Era”
1996 Honorable Mention Davison M. Douglas College of William and Mary “The Limits of Law in Accomplishing Racial Change: School Segregation in the Pre-Brown North”
1996 Honorable Mention Gregory S. Sergienko University of Richmond “‘A Body of Sound Practical Common Sense’: Law Reform through Lay Judges and the Transformation of American Law”
1996 Honorable Mention Ann Southworth Case Western Reserve University “Lawyer-Client Decisionmaking in Civil Rights and Poverty Practice: An Empirical Study of Lawyers’ Norms”
1995 Winner Bradley C. Bobertz University of Nebraska “Legitimizing Pollution Through Pollution Control Laws: Reflections on Scapegoating Theory”
1995 Honorable Mention Chris Eisgruber New York University “Remembering the Fourteenth Amendment”
1994 Winner Anita Bernstein University of Chicago-Kent “Law, Culture, and Harrassment”
1994 Honorable Mention Steven J. Heyman University of Chicago-Kent “Foundations of the Duty to Rescue”
1993 Winner Rebecca L. Brown Vanderbilt University “Tradition and Insight”
1993 Honorable Mention Jamin Ben Raskin American University “Legal Aliens, Local Citizens: The Historical, Constitutional and Theoretical Meanings of Alien Suffrage”
1992 Winner Stephanie A. Levin Western New England College “Grassroots Voices: Local Action and National Military Policy”
1991 Winner Cynthia Grant Bowman Northwestern University “‘We Don’t Want Anybody Anybody Sent’: The Death of Patronage Hiring in Chicago”
1991 Honorable Mention David L. Faigman University of California, Hastings “Normative Constitutional Factfinding”
1990 Winner Kenneth Dau-Schmidt University of Cincinnati “An Economic Analysis of the Criminal Law as a Preference-Shaping Policy”
1990 Honorable Mention Stephen M. Griffin Tulane University “Constitutionalism in the United States: From Theory to Politics”
1989 Winner John J. Donohue III Northwestern University “Diverting the Coasean River:  Incentive Schemes to Reduce Unemployment Spells”
1989 Honorable Mention Judith McMorrow Washington and Lee University “Who Owns Rights: Waiving and Settling Private Rights of Action”
1988 Winner Clark Cunningham University of Michigan “A Linguistic Analysis of the Meanings of ‘Search’ in the Fourth Amendment: A Search for Common Sense”

No winner selected.

1986 Winner Stephen L. Pepper University of Denver “The Lawyer’s Amoral Ethical Role: A Defense, A Problem, and Some Possibilities”