Congratulations to the 2019 Law and Society Association Award Winners!

The awards are presented at the Annual Meeting in Washington DC on Thursday, May 30th at 4:45 pm.


Winners and Basis for Award

Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Prize 

For empirical scholarship that has contributed to the advancement of research in law and society.



Bryant Garth

Bryant Garth, University of California, Irvine, Law

Over the past two decades, Garth has produced the most extensive studies of both the legal profession and of law and globalization. His cutting-edge work with Yves Dezalay (who is a past recipient of the LSA international prize) on the role of lawyers in globalization includes over 3500 interviews in thirty countries, and trenchant analyses of the internationalization of human rights, the diffusion of neoliberal governance, the promotion of new forms of governance, the revival of the role of law in international development, and the role of lawyers in understanding state power across continents. Through this lens, Garth draws sociolegal attention to how ‘globalization’ provides a forum for competition between professional groups, and how law becomes both the product of, and the conduit for, battles to consolidate state power. By building on Bourdieu’s tools of field sociology, Garth emphasizes the internationalization of law as the import-export of a symbolic good – and provides the most exhaustive and perspicacious analyses to date not only of the role of lawyers, but the international circulation of legal expertise, and of the influence of law in countries worldwide.

J. Willard Hurst Prize 

For the best book in socio-legal history published in 2018.

Rohit De

Rohit De, Yale University

A People’s Constitution: The Everyday Life of Law in the Indian Republic (Princeton University Press)

Rohit De’s book is legal history at its best. It takes on a broad geography and a big topic, but does so with unrelenting texture and precision. The committee was particularly impressed with De’s ability to fill the gaping hole in the historiography of law in 20th-century India: by exploring the histories of the encounter between ordinary litigants and the Supreme Court, he places Indian legal history on the same historiographical terrain as the literature on the United States and Europe. In four highly readable case studies, De effortlessly guides his readers through the thickets of postcolonial India’s legal landscape. Throughout, he asks them to pause and reflect on how they might conceptualize the work that law does in this world -- and indeed, what law itself is. His writing bears the imprint of generations of scholarship on law, society, and government, but does so with a lightness and grace that renders the prose accessible to readers across fields and disciplines, all of whom will find in the book a topic, theme, actor, or debate that will make them feel at home in new historiographical terrain. Put plainly, A People’s Constitution is a field-defining text: it marks out a wholly new territory of 20th-century legal history and establishes South Asia as the centerpiece of the conversation on global legal history. It will be an inescapable reference for generations.

Kimberly Welch

Kimberly M. Welch, Vanderbilt University

Black Litigants in Antebellum America (UNC Press)

In this deeply contextualized study of litigation over property, contracts, wages, debt, and even assault, Kimberly Welch exposes the concrete features and broad contours of a legal landscape that we had previously only guessed at. She accomplishes this feat through a research journey that can be described only as heroic: she spent weeks in county courthouses in Louisiana and Mississippi, usually in dank, insect-ridden basements, carefully unbinding case records that had never been opened. Both her method and her inquiry are fundamentally Hurstian. She asks: who was filing suits in local courts in the antebellum South? How well did free blacks and slaves alike fare in a white-dominated legal system, in which their own status was circumscribed by the racist assumptions of slave-holding society? Welch uses more than one thousand case records to uncover deeply human stories of alliances between blacks seeking to recover and whites seeking to protect their reputations. This crisply argued book sits in collegial dialogue with generations of historians who have written about the history of law, race, and slavery. Welch engages deeply with the extensive literature on the black legal experience in the American south, blending a sophisticated balance of fine-grained detail and broad brush strokes in a captivating narrative.

Herbert Jacob
Book Prize

For the best book in law and society scholarship published in 2018.


Issa Kohler-Hausmann, Yale Law School

Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing
(Princeton University Press)

Issa Kohler-Hausman’s Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing (Princeton University Press), is a theoretically informed, methodologically exacting, and highly readable study of the formation, execution, institutional and professional context, and effects of so-called broken windows policing in New York City. Kohler-Hausman studied this system of mass misdemeanor arrests in lower level courts as social control with three years of field work, interviews, observations, and quantitative data documenting exactly what happens in misdemeanorland, from the minute social processes of deciphering what kind of person the accused is to the broad patterns of entanglement in misdemeanorland that have pulled in so many citizens since the early 1990s. She argues that the policing practices and managerial court processing strategies have been deeply harmful on social and political grounds, even as they offer a reasonably efficient way to try to predict who among the throng of the low-level accused might actually be dangerous. The committee was impressed by the timeliness and importance of this topic at the highest level of social and legal policy as well as by the execution of the method and the careful theorization of its results. The book speaks widely to many law and society audiences both in law schools and in the disciplines and will be especially influential for scholars of courts, criminal justice, organizational studies, policing, and the everyday experience of those caught up in managerial and punitive systems of all kinds.

John Hope Franklin

For the best article on race, racism and the law, published within last two years.

Kimani Paul-Emile

Kimani Paul-Emile, Fordham University School of Law
Nominated by Robin Lenhardt, Fordham University School of Law

In “Blackness as Disability?” Kimani Paul-Emile offers a theoretically bold and compelling way to rethink structural racism in the United States. Inspired by the urgency of contemporary conditions, including police violence, residential segregation, and school inequality, Paul-Emile draws lessons from disability law as an alternative to race law, which the past 25 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence has rendered largely impotent to fight racism. She argues that blackness as a socially constructed racial designation is akin to a disability and that disability law—unlike race law—provides a legal rationale for ameliorating both structural racism and implicit bias. Paul-Emile builds on the statutory and common law of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, arguing that these laws could provide more protection to African Americans than the law surrounding the Equal Protection Clause and Title VII. Paul-Emile’s article is impressive in its sweep and theoretically groundbreaking. Despite its controversial claims, “Blackness as Disability?” demands to be taken seriously by socio-legal scholars and critical race theory scholars alike.

Law and Society
Article Prize

For exceptional scholarship in socio-legal studies published as an article.

Michael Yarbrough

Michael Yarbrough, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

“Very Long Engagements: The Persistent Authority of Bridewealth in a Post‐Apartheid South African Community” Law and Social Inquiry, 43(3): 647-677.

“Very Long Engagements” uses ethnographic and interview data collected in a village in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to explain the puzzling persistence of lobola, a form of bridewealth traditionally required for marriage in the community. Yarbrough argues that this custom persists because of the meanings ascribed to lobola by the young people in the village (and particularly young women), who combine traditional extended-family narratives together with more contemporary gender-egalitarian marriage norms. The committee members were uniformly struck by the quality of the writing and analysis in this paper, which was at times quite lyrical. In addition, while legal consciousness and legal pluralism are rich cores of the law and society cannon, Yarbrough’s analysis of lobola manages to bring new insights about these processes by focusing on lay actors’ role in producing legality in the context of post-apartheid South Africa.

Valerie Jenness Kitty Calavita

Honorable Mention

Valerie Jenness and Kitty Calavita, University of California, Irvine Nominated by Richard Leo, University of San Francisco School of Law

“‘It Depends on the Outcome’: Prisoners, Grievances, and Perceptions of Justice” Law & Society Review, 52(1): 41-72.

“‘It Depends on the Outcome’: Prisoners, Grievances, and Perceptions of Justice” draws from a uniquely rich sample of grievance data from men imprisoned in California to argue that the core finding of the procedural justice thesis—that legitimacy depends on the perceived fairness of the process, not outcome—is context-dependent. They show that in the coercive environment of the prison, it is in fact the outcome that matters, not the process. To develop this argument, Jenness and Calavita painstakingly collected and analyzed interviews with 120 randomly selected prisoners across three facilities and administrative record for the more than 200 grievances the interviewees had reported filing. The committee members were impressed with the paper’s rich in-prison and mixed-methods data (which are notoriously difficult to collect), integration of literatures across the law and society and criminology, and their novel contribution to the theory of procedural justice.

Law and Society
International Prize

For significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the field of law and society.

Hannah Moffat

Kelly Hannah-Moffat , University of Toronto

A very thoughtful and detailed nomination letter, written by Mona Lynch and co-signed by eight other scholars (seven in the US and one in Canada), highlights the unusual quality and originality of the winner’s work, naming among other things “her ability to speak to interdisciplinary audiences, particularly those that bridge law and society and criminology”. Lynch explains – as is also evident from the cv—that her work on risk in criminal law and criminal justice developed originally in the context of research on imprisonment, but has recently expanded into research on specialized courts, and even more recently into uses of ‘big data’ and algorithms. Jonathan Simon, from Berkeley, sent in a supporting letter, explaining that in his view Kelly Hannah-Moffat is “the pre-eminent scholar on risk and the law”. Mona Lynch’s nomination letter (and the nominee’s cv) further testify to the influence that Kelly’s often quite theoretical work has had on policy. Kelly has long had deep involvement in Canadian policy discussions on women’s imprisonment and other issues, and is regularly asked to speak at workshops for judges and similar events. She has also directly engaged with the practitioners who have devised the risk assessment tools that she has done much to scrutinize. This is of course not a criterion of excellence by itself, but it suggests Kelly can manage to reach a number of very different audiences, including outside the academy. Her work has long been recognized as both conceptually original and important for policy in the UK as well as Canada, but not so much in the US or within the LSA. She is a worthy winner of the LSA’s International Prize.

Stanton Wheeler
Mentorship Award

As an outstanding mentor for graduate, professional or undergraduate students who are working on issues of law and society.

Renée Ann Cramer

Renée Ann Cramer, Drake University

The Wheeler Prize for Mentoring goes this year to Renee Cramer of Drake University. At Drake, she is the recipient of two university-wide Teacher-of-the-Year awards. Students note that Renee “pushes her students to do their best in everyday classroom interactions, and in their lives in general.” Renee is also an extraordinary adviser. According to one student, “From my first day of class in August of 2012, to graduation day in December 2015, Professor Cramer was the most influential person I encountered.” Renee works closely with undergraduates on her NSF-sponsored research, helping them develop their research skills. Last but not least, Renee is an exceptional mentor. She works closely with students and entrusts them with tasks that not only engage them in socio-legal studies and give them experience in the field, but also, and most importantly, that nurture in them a sense of pride and possibility with regard to their own abilities to do meaningful academic work. As several letter writers note, Renee is especially dedicated to encouraging women and people of color. In the words of one, “she places emphasis on uplifting and empowering women and people of color in her classes.”

Students at Drake University are not the only ones to benefit from Renee’s mentorship, however. She has been an active member of the Consortium for Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs, of which she has been President since 2014. Renee is committed to highlighting the challenges and privileges of teaching undergraduate legal studies, and in panels at the LSA and elsewhere, has participated in conversations that provide invaluable resources to instructors of undergraduates everywhere. In addition, Renee has unofficially mentored a number of graduate students, as well as junior faculty. A colleague suggests that Renee’s mentoring of junior faculty is particularly important, given the manner in which graduate students are generally abandoned to “the scholarly world of competition and relative solitude” after they graduate. Across the law and society community, Renee has consistently mentored scholars at the beginning of their careers, provided advice about teaching and publishing, and has sought out junior colleagues to participate on her panels at conferences like the LSA. For all of these reasons, we are pleased to be able to present the Stanton Wheeler Mentorship Award to Renee Cramer.

Ronald Pipkin
Service Award

For sustained and extraordinary service to the Association.

David Trubek

David Trubek, University of Wisconsin Madison

From the beginning of the Law and Society Association’s international initiatives in the late 1980s, David Trubek has been at the forefront of change. He has led repeated initiatives to internationalize the Association, by having international meetings, by turbocharging the International Activities Committee and by proposing many new initiatives to make the LSA an international association. Most recently, he spearheaded the move for the LSA to support the creation of a Law and Society in Africa Association, not only mobilizing the LSA to financially support the first meeting of the group in South Africa two years ago but also contributing a substantial amount of his own money to make it happen. But his service has gone beyond international initiatives. As chair of the Second Half Century committee in 2014, he presided over a major reassessment of the LSA’s activities by organizing a large and dedicated team which proposed a vision for the future that the Association will be of great assistance as the Association moves forward with its strategic plan.

Egor Lazarev

Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto

Mariana Valverde has long been engaged in service to the Law and Society Association, and she has also been deeply involved in the Canadian Law and Society Association, including as its president. For the joint CLSA/LSA meeting in 2018 in Toronto, Mariana chaired the joint CLSA/LSA program committee, but she also did much more than that. Because the LSA office was in flux with an interim staff, Mariana went above and beyond the role of program chair to do many of the tasks that the LSA staff normally does to organize the meeting, from rearranging panels and sorting out conflicts, to notifying panelists of changes and working with them to minimize conflicts. She kept both CLSA and LSA on track together, springing into action when Francophone Canadians took issue with the LSA policy on non-English panels and working out an elegant solution to have a Francophone pre-conference the day before the meeting. With her native Spanish, she has provided translation for Spanish panels at the Mexico City meeting, worked to increase the representation of colleagues from Latin America since the Mexico City meeting, and generally provided a voice for the Global South at times when representatives from the Global South itself were in short supply. Mariana Valverde has been the multicultural conscience of the LSA, and for this, we award her the Pipkin Prize.


For the dissertation that best represents outstanding work in law and society research in 2018.

Egor Lazarev

Egor Lazarev, University of Toronto

“Laws in Conflict: Legacies of War and Legal Pluralism in Chechnya”

Egor Lazarev’s dissertation is a beautifully written and impressively crafted multi-method study exploring how people choose between legally plural institutions (customary, Sharia, state law) in the hard-to-research Russian region of Chechnya. His data collection efforts are extraordinary and include a sophisticated self-designed and self-implemented representative survey carried out across Chechnya which creatively uses vignettes to test the ways that people make legal choices in cases where the three systems of law would produce different results. To this he added an original dataset of local court cases in Chechnya, formal interviews and fieldwork with Chechens, as well cross-regional research in the two neighboring regions of Ingushetia and Dagestan to distinguish regional effects from those specifically caused by war. Through each of these methods, he reveals the ways that years of violent conflict disrupted gender hierarchies in Chechnya leading to women’s empowerment and altering their choices of legal forum—by a large margin, Chechen women prefer Russian state law over customary or Sharia law. This is because state law, with its official gender equality norms, often gave women better results than did either customary or Sharia law. At the same time, Lazarev theorizes the supply-side of law, exploring the reasons that states may choose to promote legal pluralism as a policy tool. In post-war Chechnya, he argues, the regional government pushes legal pluralism in the form of customary and Sharia law as an implicit bargain with men to reinforce patriarchal norms and practices in exchange for loyalty to the state. The committee was impressed by Lazarev’s work in an incredibly challenging research environment, his theoretical and empirical contribution to the literature on legal pluralism, and his thoughtful use of local knowledge to inform his findings.


Honorable Mention

Viviane Weitzner, McGill University
“Raw Economy/Raw Law: Ancestral Peoples, Mining, Law and Violence in Colombia”

Weitzner’s dissertation is based on years of extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Colombia with indigenous and African-descendant gold-mining communities, whose claims about working the land with traditional forms of gold-mining are assisted by decisions of the Constitutional Court of Colombia that require their “free prior and informed consent” before others can work their land. Those decisions, however, are undermined by the state which contracts with multinational mining companies to mine these regions without consulting with the local communities. At the same time, both the local communities and the multinational mining companies are working under the shadow of armed gangs (some supported by the state and others fighting that state) that enact and live their own law of the raw materials economy, which she terms “raw law.” The intersection of multiple forms of state law, together with local community law and the practical law of the armed groups creates a complex web of legally pluralistic normative orders that govern the civil-war-torn regions of Colombia where Weitzner conducted her research. The local communities have had to navigate this complex terrain of overlapping, conflicting and differentially enforced law, sometimes with fatal results. The committee was impressed with Weitzner’s in-depth local knowledge of difficult to study and often dangerous areas of the country, her eminently readable ethnographic vignettes, her theoretical innovations, and her thoughtful reflections on her own positionality as someone who could not remain neutral in the civil conflict that wracked Colombia for the duration of her research.

Student Paper Prize

For the undergraduate paper that best represents outstanding work in law and society research.

Catherine Mansur

Catherine Mansur, Northwestern University

The winner of the undergraduate paper competition is Catharine Mansur for her paper “All Bets Are off in the Climate Casino: Federalism and U.S. Power Sector Greenhouse Gas Regulation.” The paper addresses the disjuncture between the physical infrastructure of the U.S. electricity grid and state-level power sector greenhouse gas regulation, and focuses on how interstate electricity dependence influences the propensity of state governments to legislate on greenhouse gas emissions. Using both descriptive methods and a logistic regression model, she finds that political party identification is a much stronger predictor of state support for federal- and state-level greenhouse gas policy than net flow of electricity. The paper was nominated by Professor Laura Beth Nielsen.

Honorable Mention

Haley Glazer

Haley Glazer, Northwestern University

The committee selected Haley Glazer’s paper on “Demographic and Case-Related Factors Affecting Quantity of News Media Coverage in Texas Death Penalty Cases: An Exploration” for honorable mention. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the paper analyzes data about all 156 executions in Texas between 2000 and 2005, as well as their media coverage in one of the state’s top newspapers by circulation. It finds that two sets of factors are strong predictors of high levels of media coverage: first, when the perpetrator is a female; and second, when there are “cinematic factors” such as murder-for-hire. The paper was nominated by Professor Laura Beth Nielsen.

Graduate Student
Paper Prize

For the graduate paper that best represents outstanding work in law and society research.


Stefan Vogler, University of California, Irvine

For the Graduate Student Paper Prize, the committee selected Stefan Vogler’s paper “Constituting the ‘Sexually Violent Predator’: Law, Forensic Psychology, and the Adjudication of Risk.” The paper examines how legal risk assessment practices constitute a particular kind of legal subject, the sexually violent predator, as a distinct type of person requiring exceptional penal measures through the use of psychiatric diagnosis and actuarial risk assessment. The paper challenges dominant views of actuarialism as de-individualizing, and presents a unique theoretical case that does not clearly fit prevailing accounts of actuarialism. The paper was nominated by Professor Laura Beth Nielsen.

2019 Legacy Award

The LSA Legacy Award honors people whose contributions significantly helped to develop the Association through sustained commitment to the Association’s mission and legacy, extensive service, or scholarly publications that made a lasting contribution to the Association’s scholarly legacy but have not received a major Association award.

Richard L. Abel
Kitty Calavita
David Engel
William Felstiner
Lawrence Friedman
Marc Galanter
Joel Handler
Robert A. Kagan
Samuel Krislov
Herbert Kritzer
Jack Ladinsky
Richard Lempert
Felice Levine
Laura Nader
Stewart Macaulay
Lynn Mather
Frank Munger
Doris Marie Provine
Jerome H. Skolnick
Joyce Sterling
David M. Trubek