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Graduate Prize Winners

Graduate Student Paper Competition


Entries for the GSPC (Graduate Student Paper Competition) are generally accepted in January. The competition is open to graduate and law students within the field of sociolegal studies. The winning paper is published in Law & Social Inquiry, and the winner receives special recognition from LSI at the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association. Winners are also honored with a $500 cash prize for their achievement.


Congrats to 2019 Annual Graduate Student Paper Competition Winner: Tobias Smith! 

LSI offers a huge congrats to Tobias Smith from Berkeley's Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program for winning LSI's 2019 prize for best graduate student paper. "Body Count Politics: Quantification, Secrecy and Capital Punishment in China," in which Smith explores the tension between China's national imperative for the non-disclosure of death penalty data with its domestic valorization of quantification,  is forthcoming in LSI 2020!


Past Winners

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!

Our 2017 winner is 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. 

2016 GSPC winner is  Evelyn Atkinson. Atkinson is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Chicago. Her winning article is "The Burden of Taking Care: Children, Attractive Nuisance, and the Safety First Movement". 

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.


GSPC is an annual opportunity. LSI  will begin accepting GSPC submissions in January 2020.