AALS Selects 2024 Scholarly Papers Competition Winner

News Release
Jim Greif
[email protected]
(202) 296-1593

Washington, DC (November 9, 2023) — The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) has announced the winner of the 2024 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:

Maria Ponomarenko, Assistant Professor, University of Texas School of Law, “The Small Agency Problem in American Policing.”

In the article, Ponomarenko spotlights gaps in legal scholarship about small-town and rural policing and explores differences between small-town and large-city departments. Using data and case studies, she explores the factors that lead to systemic failures in smaller agencies and proposes regulatory measures and reforms based on her findings. The article will be published in an upcoming issue of the New York University Law Review.

“It meant a great deal to me that the AALS recognized the importance of studying small policing agencies,” Ponomarenko said. “More than 80 percent of local police departments and sheriffs’ offices have fewer than 50 officers. We will never make serious headway in addressing the problems of policing by focusing on big city agencies alone. I try in this piece to identify the dysfunctions of small agencies—from over-enforcement against outsiders, to the lack of protections for marginalized communities within their jurisdiction—and what might be done to address them.”

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

Sarah Lorr, Assistant Professor, Brooklyn Law School, “Disabling Families

Felipe Jiménez, Associate Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, “Tradition in Constitutional Adjudication

The AALS Committee to Review Scholarly Papers for the 2024 Annual Meeting included distinguished legal scholars from around the country:

The competition is now in its 38th year, and the winner and honorable mention recipients will be recognized during a ceremony at the AALS Annual Meeting on January 4, 2024.  

About AALS
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS), founded in 1900, is a nonprofit association of 176 member and 18 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.