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Graduate Student Paper Competition

2018 Annual Graduate Student Paper Competition is Now Open! 

The editors of Law & Social Inquiry are pleased to announce our annual competition for the best journal-length paper in the field of law and social science written by a graduate or law student. Law & Social Inquiry publishes empirical and theoretical studies of sociolegal processes from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Entries will be accepted starting January 1, 2018 and must be received by March 1, 2018.

LSI invites direct submissions from graduate and law students and nominations of student work from faculty. The author must be a graduate student or law student at the time the paper was written and when submitted. Faculty nominations should include a short description along with the paper and contact details for the student. Submissions will be evaluated by our editors.  The winning submission will be sent to selected scholars for advisory reviews to aid with revisions prior to publication. All submissions (direct and faculty nominated) are weighted equally in the competition. The winning paper will be published in Law & Social Inquiry and the author(s) will receive a total cash prize of $500 (US).

Please send your article as a Microsoft Word document or PDF to .  Please indicate that (1) you intend to be considered in the competition, (2) you are currently a graduate student, and (3) you have not submitted your article to other journals for publication. Submission is limited to one paper per student; articles may not be altered or resubmitted with corrections once they have been received by our office.

Submissions must include a title page with a mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number. The second page should include a 100-150 word abstract. Beginning on the third page, all pages should be paginated.  Text, footnotes, endnotes, and references should be double-spaced in Times New Roman 12 point font and have 1” margins on all sides with no headers or footers.  Submissions must not exceed 15,000 words, including references and footnotes.

Questions regarding the competition can be directed to Willa Sachs: (312) 988-6517. 

We are pleased to announce our 2017 Winner: B. Robert Owens!

Boyce Robert Owens is a sociologist of law and knowledge who earned his PhD in sociology at the University of Chicago and currently works as a constultant at the Civic Consulting Alliance.  In his winning paper, "What is a Social Group in the Eyes of the Law? Knowledge Work in Refugee Status Determination," Owens examines the settling and unsettling of legal concepts in relation to refugee status determination. Look for his paper in an upcoming issue of LSI! 

Past Winners

We are pleased to announce the 2016 GSPC winner,  Evelyn Atkinson! Atkinson is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Chicago. Keep an eye out for her winning article, "The Burdern of Taking Care: Children, Attractive Nuisance, and the Safety First Movement"  in LSI's  Summer 2017 issue. 

K-Sue Park won the 2015 GSPC with her paper, "Money, Mortgages, and The Conquest of America" in which she explores early transactions for land between settlers and indigenous people and the growth of the modern American contract economy.  Check it out here:

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