Scholarly Papers Competition

Encouraging and recognizing excellent legal scholarship by newer faculty

AALS sponsors an annual Scholarly Papers Competition open to those with five or fewer years of experience as a full-time law teacher at an AALS member or fee-paid school. These professors are invited to submit a paper on a topic related to or concerning law. A committee of established scholars reviews the submitted papers with the authors’ identities concealed.

The competition winner is recognized at the next AALS Annual Meeting.

2025 Competition

The 2025 Scholarly Papers Competition is open to faculty members who have been teaching for five academic years or less as of July 1, 2024, including any time spent as a VAP or law fellow. The winner will be recognized at the 2025 AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

The deadline to submit a manuscript for consideration is August 1, 2024 by 5 pm Eastern time. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a cover letter and adhere to the rules of anonymity as described below.

Submissions and/or questions should be directed to [email protected].


Submissions should include a cover letter with the author’s name and contact information. The manuscript itself, including title page and footnotes, should not contain any references that identify the author or the author’s school, or any information identifying a specific journal or law review where the manuscript may have been selected for publication.


The competition is open to faculty members of AALS member and fee-paid schools, including visiting faculty whose “home” school is also an AALS member or fee-paid school. Fellows, VAPs, adjuncts, and visiting faculty whose “home” school is not a member or fee-paid school are not eligible.

The competition is open to those who have been full-time law teachers for five academic years or less as of July 1 of the submission year. Time spent as a VAP or law fellow or as a full-time faculty member on official leave from the law school will be counted toward the five-year maximum. Time away on family or medical leave will not be counted.

Authors are limited to one submission each. Co-authored papers are eligible, but will be treated as an individual submission by each author and preclude additional submissions by either author. Each co-authors must meet the eligibility criteria. Former Scholarly Papers Competition winners are not eligible; past Honorable Mention recipients are eligible.

Publication Requirements

Papers must reflect original research, and must not already be in publication. Papers slated to be published before February of the competition year are not eligible. Inclusion of a version of the paper on SSRN or similar pre-publication resource does not count as “publication.” Submitted papers, whether or not selected for recognition, may be subsequently published as arranged by the authors. Papers may have been revised on the basis of review by colleagues.

Preparation Notes

Submitted manuscripts have a maximum word limit of 30,000 words (inclusive of footnotes) and must adhere to formatting standards as outlined in the Call for Papers posted above.

Statement of Compliance

The cover letter accompanying each submission should include a statement of compliance as detailed in the Call for Papers posted above. Each author is to indicate up to four subject categories from the list below that best fit the paper. In the event that none of the listed categories captures the essence of the paper, the author should write in one topic under “other.”

Subject Categories

Administrative Law; Admiralty; Agency/Partnership; Agricultural Law; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Animal Law; Antitrust; Arts and Literature; Aviation and Space Law; Bank and Finance; Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights; Bioethics; Civil Procedure; Civil Rights; Commercial Law; Communications Law; Community Property; Comparative Law; Computer and Internet Law; Conflict of Laws; Constitutional Law; Consumer Law; Contracts; Corporations; Courts; Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure; Critical Legal Theory; Disability Law; Dispute Resolution; Domestic Relations; Economics, Law and; Education Law; Elder Law; Election Law; Employment Practice; Energy and Utilities; Entertainment Law; Environmental Law; Estate Planning and Probate; Evidence; Family Law; Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure; Foreign Relations; Gender Law; Health Law and Policy; Housing Law; Human Rights Law; Immigration Law; Insurance Law; Intellectual Property; International Law – Private; International Law – Public; Jurisprudence; Juveniles; Labor; Law Enforcement and Corrections; Legal Analysis and Writing; Legal Education; Legal History; Legal Profession; Legislation; Local Government; Mergers and Acquisitions; Military Law; National Security Law; Native American Law; Natural Resources Law; Nonprofit Organizations; Organizations; Other; Poverty Law; Products Liability; Professional Responsibility; Property Law; Race and the Law; Real Estate Transactions; Religion, Law and; Remedies; Science, Law and; Securities; Sexuality and the Law; Social Justice; Social Sciences, Law and; Society, Law and; State and Local Government Law; Taxation – Federal; Taxation – State & Local; Technology, Law and; Terrorism; Torts; Trade; Trial and Appellate Advocacy; Trusts and Estates; Workers’ Compensation