Awards & Grants

Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

The Legal History and Rare Books Section (LHRB) of the American Association of Law Libraries, in cooperation with Gale Cengage Learning, announces the annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Cohen’s scholarly work was in the fields of legal research, rare books, and historical bibliography.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage scholarship in the areas of legal history, rare law books, and legal archives, and to acquaint students with the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and law librarianship. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The competition is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, and related fields. Both full- and part-time students are eligible. Membership in AALL is not required.

The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Gale Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses associated with attendance at the AALL Annual Meeting.The winner and runner-up will have the opportunity to publish their essays in LH&RB’s online scholarly journal Unbound: A Review of Legal History and Rare Books.

Interested parties should download and read the following documents:

Winners

  • 2015-2017

    2017

    Winner: Gonzalo E. Rodriguez, a rising third-year student at the University of Alabama School of Law, for “Protecting Inland Waterways, from the Institutes of Gaius to Magna Carta.” Mr. Rodriguez presented his paper at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.


    2016

    Winner: Jillian Slaight, doctoral student in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for “Seductive Arguments: Law, Elopement & the Erosion of Parental Authority in Pre-Revolutionary France”. Jillian presented her essay at the 2016 AALL annual meeting in Chicago.

    Runner-up: Adam Giancola, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (Canada) class of 2017, for “The Development of Recusatio Iudicis and the Rise of Aequitas”.


    2015

    Winner: Sung Yup Kim, doctoral student in history at the State University of New York, Stoney Brook, for “‘Those Innumerable Litigations of a Civil Nature Arising among the Lower Sort’: Justices of the Peace and Small Debt Litigation in Late Colonial New York.” Sung Yup presented his essay at the 2015 AALL annual meeting in Philadelphia.

    Runner-up: Nicholas Handler, Yale Law School, class of 2015, “A Constitutional Case for Legislative History: The Neglected Journal Clause.”

  • 2009-2014

    2014

    Winner: Bonnie Shucha, Assistant Director of Public Services at the University of Wisconsin Law Library, “White Slavery in the Northwoods: Early Sex Trafficking and the Reformation of Law in the Late Nineteenth Century” (available on SSRN). Bonnie presented her essay at the 2014 AALL annual meeting in San Antonio.

    Runner-up: Emily Ulrich, Graduate Student in the Medieval Studies Program at Yale University, “‘Commoning’ the English Common Law Treatise: Investigating Three Fourteenth-Century Copies of the Britton”.


    2013

    Winner: Sarah Levine-Gronningsater, PhD Candidate in American History at the University of Chicago, “Louis Napoleon’s Secret Service: Gradual Emancipation, Antislavery Legal Culture, and the Origins of the Lemmon Slave Case (1852-60)”.

    Runner-up: Matthew Axtell, PhD Candidate in History at Princeton University, “Customs of the River: Legal Change and Shifting Hydrology in the 19-Century Steamboat Economy” (available on SSRN). Matthew presented his essay at the 2013 AALL annual meeting in Seattle.


    2012

    Winner: John E. Beerbower, 3L at the University of Virginia School of Law, “Ex Parte McCardle and the Attorney General’s Duty to Defend Acts of Congress,” 47 U.S.F. L. Rev. 647 (2012-13).

    Runner-up: Zoey F. Orol, 2L at New York University School of Law, “Reading the Early American Legal Profession: A Study of the First American Law Review,” 87 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1523 (2012) (available on SSRN). Zoey presented her essay at the 2012 AALL annual meeting in Boston.


    2011

    Winner: Jed Glickstein, 1L at Yale Law School, “After Midnight: The Circuit Judges and the Repeal of the Judiciary Act of 1801,” 24 Yale J.L. & Human. 543 (2012) (available on SSRN). Jed presented his essay at the 2011 AALL annual meeting in Philadelphia.


    2010

    Winner: Justin Simard, JD/PhD candidate in the American Legal History Program at the University of Pennsylvania, “‘The Citadel Must Open Its Gates to the People’: Judicial Reform at the 1821 New York Constitutional Convention”. Justin presented his essay at the 2010 AALL annual meeting in Denver.


    2009

    Winner: Benjamin Yousey-Hindes, PhD Candidate in Medieval History at Stanford University, “A Case Study of Canon Law in the Age of the Quinque compilationes antiquae: the Trial for Balaruc”. Ben accepted his award at the 2009 AALL annual meeting in Washington, D.C. and gave an interview about his essay in the 2009 Summer issue of the LH&RB newsletter.