AALS Selects 2021 Scholarly Papers Competition Winners

News Release
Jim Greif
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(202) 296-1593


AALS Selects 2021 Scholarly Papers Competition Winners


Washington, D.C. (November 20, 2020) – The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) has announced the winner of the 2021 AALS Scholarly Papers Competition for law school faculty members in the field for five years or fewer.

The competition’s selection committee recognized the following outstanding paper:

Matthew A. Shapiro, Assistant Professor, Rutgers Law School, “Distributing Civil Justice.”

In “Distributing Civil Justice,” Professor Shapiro argues that the ideal of “access to justice” actually calls for a more egalitarian distribution of not just one good, but rather several distinct goods—goods that reflect competing conceptions of the role of the state in dispute resolution and that yield potentially conflicting implications for a wide range of important procedural issues. The article will be published in an upcoming issue of The Georgetown Law Journal.

“I am thrilled and humbled to receive this award, and to have my work recognized alongside the other outstanding papers being honored,” Professor Shapiro said. “‘Access to justice’ is one of the most commonly invoked legal ideals, yet its meaning has tended to be taken for granted. I hope that my paper sheds new light on longstanding questions in civil procedure scholarship and that the methodology I employ in my work—normative political theory—will perhaps help to put new questions on proceduralists’ research agendas.”

The selection committee also recognized the following papers as honorable mentions:

The AALS Committee to Review Scholarly Papers for the 2021 Annual Meeting included distinguished legal scholars from around the country:

The competition is now in its 35th year and the awards will be presented during a ceremony at the AALS Annual Meeting on January 5, 2021.

About AALS
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS), founded in 1900, is a nonprofit association of 176 member and 16 fee-paid law schools. Its members enroll most of the nation’s law students and produce the majority of the country’s lawyers and judges, as well as many of its lawmakers. The mission of AALS is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education. In support of this mission, AALS promotes the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity, including diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints, while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve its many communities—local, national and international.