Date Chartered: 5/31/1988


The Section on Federal Courts seeks to advance knowledge pertaining to the federal courts and the federal system and presents a program of interest to federal courts teachers and scholars at the AALS Annual Meeting.

Leadership   Section Members

Best Article Award

The Section on Federal Courts of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) wishes to recognize excellence in legal scholarship by full-time untenured faculty members at AALS member and affiliate schools. The purpose of the award program is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the field of federal courts by untenured faculty members.

Nominations and Eligibility:  Nominations for the best article award should be directed to the chair of the section or to a member of the award selection committee and received no later than September 15 of the year preceding the annual award. Self-nominations are to be welcomed. Section officers will take appropriate steps to notify the Section members of the deadline, through the Section’s communication platform, discussion lists, blog posts, section newsletter announcements, and announcements at the annual meeting.

Eligible articles are those in the field of Federal Courts law that were published by a recognized journal during the twelve-month period ending on September 1 before the close of nominations (date of actual publication determines eligibility). Eligible authors are those who, at the close of nominations, were untenured full-time faculty members at AALS member or affiliate schools and have not previously won the award.

Selection Process: Each year, at the annual meeting, the chair of the Section on Federal Courts will announce the winner of the “best article” competition.

The best article will be chosen by a three-person award selection committee. Members of the award selection committee will be elected as part of the slate of section officers at the annual meeting. From the articles nominated, the award selection committee will select the top three articles by November 1 and notify the section chair. Following identification of the three finalists, prize committee members will cast their vote for a single best article by November 15. The section chair will tabulate the votes and determine the winner. The section chair shall cast the deciding vote in case of a tie.

Announcement and Ceremony: Following receipt of AALS approval, the chair will announce the award.


Year Award Name Recipient Law School
2023 Best Untenured Article Award Benjamin Johnson The Pennsylvania State University – Penn State Law
2022 Best Article Award Rachel Bayefsky University of Virginia School of Law
2021 Best Article Award Merritt McAlister University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law
2021 Daniel J. Meltzer Award Richard Fallon Harvard Law School
2021 Daniel J. Meltzer Award Martin Redish Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
2020 Best Article Award Maggie Gardner Cornell Law School
2018 Daniel J. Meltzer Award David Shapiro Harvard Law School
2018 Daniel J. Meltzer Award Henry Monaghan Columbia Law School
2017 Best Article Award Richard M. Re University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
2016 Best Article Award Samuel L. Bray University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
2015 Best Article Award Seth Davis University of California, Irvine
2014 Best Article Award Paul R. Gugliuzza Boston University School of Law
2013 Best Article Award Tara Leigh Grove William & Mary Law School