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2019 Graduate Student Paper Competition Now Open!

2019 Graduate Student Paper Competition 

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, 2019 and must be received by March 1, 2019.

 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 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. Submissions are 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, email address, and phone number, and an abstract of no more than 200 words. The total length of submissions, including references and footnotes, must not exceed 15,000 words.

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

Congrats to 2018 Annual Graduate Student Paper Competition Winner: Steven Wulff! 

Congratulations to Stephen Wulff for winning our 2018 graduate student paper prize for his paper, “Flipping the ‘New Penology’ Script: Police Misconduct Insurance, Grassroots Activism, and Risk Management-Based Reform.” Wulff is a graduate student in the department of sociology at the University of Minnesota. In the first empirical study on the matter, Wulff analyzes the failed 2016 ballot campaign of the Committee for Professional Policing and its penological objectives and discourses. Keep an eye out for his paper in an upcoming issue of LSI!

Past Winners

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! 

2016 GSPC winner is  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:

GSPC is an annual opportunity. 

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