Skip to Main Content
Each year the Law School awards several prizes for the best papers written by Harvard Law School students in particular areas of the law. Graduating prize winners are noted in the Commencement Program and prize-winning papers are eligible to be published in the School's public paper series. UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, all papers are due in the Office of Academic Affairs (Lewis 208) by 5:00pm on May 2, 2014. For additional instructions, please see the Writing Prize Submission Instructions.
The bequest of Addison Brown, LL.B. 1855, established a prize to be awarded annually or biannually for the best essay written by a student on a subject related to private international law or maritime law. This year the award is $9,000. A paper can be submitted in accordance with the instructions above or nominated for consideration by any instructor under whose supervision the paper was written during the academic year. For further information contact Professor Jack Goldsmith.
This prize was established by the Program on Corporate Governance in honor of Professor Victor Brudney, Robert B. and Candice J. Haas Professor in Corporate Finance Law, Emeritus. This prize may be awarded annually to the best student paper on a topic related to corporate governance. The amount of the prize is $1,000. The prize committee consists of Professors Lucian Bebchuk, Reinier Kraakman, and Mark Roe.
The purpose of this prize is to encourage deeper reflection and consideration by HLS students about their chosen profession, its role in society, and the many challenges that lawyers face in a rapidly-changing world. Paper topics must relate to the legal profession itself or to a related aspect of the delivery of professional services. This could include (but is not limited to) topics such as legal careers, the management of law firms, legal departments, and other legal service providers, diversity or gender-related issues, the impact of globalization or other social trends upon the profession, the role of lawyers and legal institutions in society, changes in the profession over time, comparisons between lawyers and other professional service providers, and the like. The amount of the prize is $1,000. For further information, please contact Professor David Wilkins.
This prize was established in 2007 by the Program on Negotiation in honor of Professors Roger Fisher, the Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, and Frank E.A. Sander, the Bussey Professor of Law, Emeritus. This prize may be awarded annually to the best student paper on a topic related to negotiation, dispute systems design, mediation, dispute resolution, or ADR. Professional school students currently enrolled in a PON-affiliated degree-granting program at Harvard, MIT, or the Fletcher School at Tufts are eligible for the prize. The prize committee will be chaired by Professors Robert Bordone and Guhan Subramanian. The amount of the prize is $1,000. The winner’s name will also be engraved on a wall plaque to be displayed at the Program on Negotiation. Papers should be submitted directly to email@example.com by May 2, 2014.
This prize was established by the East Asian Legal Studies program in memory of Yong K. Kim A.B. ’92, J.D. ’95 through the generosity of his parents, Professor and Mrs. Joe H. Kim, his family, and many friends at and beyond the Law School. A prize of $1,500 is awarded to the student who makes the most significant contribution to the life of the Law School's East Asian Legal Studies program. That contribution may take several forms. It may entail authorship of a paper concerning the law or legal history of the nations and peoples of East Asia, or legal issues concerning international relations in the region or with the United States. Alternatively, it may entail active and creative participation in EALS and the fostering of understanding at Harvard Law School regarding East Asia and its interaction with the U.S. The prize recipient should also possess Yong Kim’s interest in and enthusiasm for fostering U.S.-East Asian understanding and plan a career that will further advance these interests. Papers may be written in conjunction with a course or seminar or as an independent study project at the Law School.
Papers are due by May 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm along with the required cover sheet (see http://law.harvard.edu/academics/writing/writing-prizes/2012-13prizecoversheet.pdf). Please submit two hard copies to the East Asian Legal Studies office (Austin 301) and an electronic copy via email to Mike Zaisser (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Laylin Prize was established in memory of John Gallup Laylin, J.D. 1928, by his firm, Covington & Burling LLP. A prize of $4,000 is awarded for the best paper written by a student in the field of public international law. To be considered, a paper must be nominated by the faculty supervisor. A paper is eligible for nomination if it was written during the current academic year for Law School credit (or to fulfill a Law School degree requirement) and if the supervisor deems it to be the best paper that he or she has supervised on the topic during that same year. Nominations should be submitted to the Graduate Program Office (email@example.com; WCC 5005) by May 2, 2014, and should include the grade given to the paper as well as any comments the supervisor would like to include. A copy of the paper itself should be submitted to the Graduate Program Office by the student whose paper is being nominated. For further information, please contact the Graduate Program Office (6-8210).
This prize may be awarded annually to the best student paper concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer legal issues. The amount of the prize is $1,000. For further information, please contact Professor I. Glenn Cohen.
Established in honor of Federico Mancini, a judge of the European Court of Justice, the Mancini Prize is awarded annually to the student writing the best paper in the field of European law and European legal thought. The paper should be one written during the current academic year and must relate to European law. The prize is $2,000. For further information, please contact Professor Gerald Neuman.
The bequest of Isabel B. Oberman established this award in 1973 in memory of her husband, Irving Oberman, A.B. 1917. It provides for an annual prize of $1,000 to be awarded by the dean for the best paper by a student of the School on each of seven current legal subjects. In the academic year 2013-2014, papers addressing topics in the following subject areas will be eligible for Oberman Awards: Bankruptcy; Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism and the Fourteenth Amendment; Environmental Law; Family Law; Intellectual Property; Law and Social Change; and Legal History. For more details click here.
This is a $1,000 prize for any outstanding student paper applying economic analysis of law to a legal topic. Generally, the prize is awarded in May each year. Students wishing to apply should first have the professor under whom the paper is written email a statement evaluating the paper to Steven Shavell (firstname.lastname@example.org). The student should then email the paper to Irina Goldina (email@example.com) by May 2, 2014.
Established in 2011 by the Project on Private Law at Harvard Law School. This prize may be awarded annually to the best student paper on a topic related to private law. The amount of the prize is $1,000. For further information, please contact Professor Henry Smith.
This prize was established by Roberts & Holland LLP in honor of its founding partner and his significant work in the area of tax law. The fund provides an annual prize of $5,000 for the best student paper in the field of taxation. The papers can be written in conjunction with a course or seminar or as an independent study project at the Law School. For further information, please contact Professor Dan Halperin.
Through a bequest made by Edith L. Fisch, in memory of her late husband from the HLS class of 1932, the Steven L. Werner Prize was established in 2009. The Werner Prize will be awarded annually to the Harvard Law School Student writing the best paper in the field of criminal justice, including (but not limited to) criminal law theory, substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, legal ethics in the criminal context, and comparative and international criminal law and institutions. The prize is $1000. A paper can be submitted in accordance with the instructions above, or nominated for consideration by any instructor under whose supervision the paper was written during the academic year. For more information please contact Professor Carol Steiker.
The Joseph H. Beale Prize was established in 1930 by John Grier Buchanan, LL.B. 1912. The prize is awarded to the student who obtains the highest grade during the year in the course on Conflict of Laws. If there is more than one class in Conflict of Laws, the recipients of the highest grade in each class will share the prize.
Established by a gift from Mr. Morgan Chu ’76 and his wife, Helen W. Chu, the income to be awarded to the one student with the highest first year grades who is a member of the following student organizations: Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, La Alianza, Native American Law Students Association, Chinese American Law Students Association, Korean Association of HLS, Middle East Law Students Association, Multiracial Law Students Association, or the South Asian Law Students Association.
The Dean’s Awards for Community Leadership recognize a number of graduating students who contribute time and energy to making the HLS community a better place through involvement in student organizations, community service groups, and individual efforts. Nominations are made to the Dean of Students each spring and are reviewed by a committee.
Established by an anonymous gift in 1907, the Fay Diploma is prepared and issued in memory of Jonathan Fay, A.B. 1778, and Samuel Phillips Prescott Fay, A.B. 1798, and is awarded to the graduating J.D. candidate who, by scholarship, conduct, and character, has given evidence of the greatest promise. Traditionally, the Fay Diploma is awarded to the person who graduates with the highest combined average for three years of study in residence at the Harvard Law School.
The Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award is granted each year in honor of Professor Andrew Kaufman, who has been instrumental in creating and supporting the Pro Bono Service Program at HLS. The J.D. student in the graduating class who performs the highest number of pro bono service hours receives the award and a $500 honorarium. The Pro Bono Service Program annually determines the winner based on records of total completed pro bono hours submitted by students. For more information, contact the Pro Bono Service Program, Austin 102.
This prize is given in honor of George S. Leisure, LL.B. 1917, by his law partner David Teitelbaum, LL.B. 1929. A sum of $3,500 is awarded annually for excellence in advocacy to the student judged the best oralist in the Ames Moot Court Competition final round.
Established in memory of Frank S. Righeimer, Jr. ’32, the Righeimer Prize is a monetary prize and is awarded annually to a graduating student to recognize exceptional citizenship within the Law School community. Nominations can be made by graduating students as well as by members of the faculty and staff. For further information, please contact the Dean of Students Office.
Sarah C. Sears established this prize in memory of her son, Joshua Montgomery Sears, Jr., LL.B. 1904. From this fund, four prizes are awarded annually, one to each of the two students receiving the highest averages in the work of the first year, and one to each of the two students receiving the highest averages in the work of the second year.To be eligible for the Sears Prize, the student must have met the minimum registration requirements described in Section I of the Harvard Law School Handbook of Academic Policies.
Established in memory of William J. Stuntz, the Stuntz Award, recognizes the graduating student who, in his or her time at Harvard Law School, has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to justice, respect for human dignity, and compassion.
The David Westfall Memorial Award for Student Citizenship is named in honor of Prof. David Westfall who taught at Harvard Law School for more than fifty years. Near the end of his career, he volunteered to serve as an inaugural Faculty Leader for a First Year section and enjoyed terrific popularity in this role until his death in 2006. The Westfall Award is awarded annually to one graduating student to recognize contributions to creating community within the first-year section and class.
This fund was established in memory of Boykin C. Wright, LL.B. 1914, by his law partners in the firm then known as Shearman & Sterling & Wright. The income is used to provide prizes for the winning and losing teams in the Ames Moot Court Competition final round.
Back to Top