Morrison Prize Contest

Congratulations to the 2017 Morrison Laureates!

Morrison Laureates Michael P. Vandenbergh & Jonathan Gilligan, Beyond Gridlock, 40 Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 217 (2015)

The Morrison Prize is a $10,000 cash prize awarded to the author(s) of the most impactful sustainability-related legal academic paper published in North America during the previous year.  The prize winner(s) will present the winning paper in a plenary session at the third annual Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators on May 12, 2017, at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Phoenix, Arizona.

Eligibility Requirements:

The Morrison Prize contest is open to full-time law professors who have published environmental sustainability-related papers in printed U.S. or Canadian legal academic journals during the contest period.  All papers appearing in a qualifying journal’s final 2015 issue or in an issue printed and circulated prior to November 15, 2016, fall within the 2017 contest period.  Works-in-progress and papers that are not published in print form before the deadline are not eligible.  Papers focused on topics in environmental law, water law, energy law, natural resources law, land use law, disaster law, climate change law, and agricultural law meet the subject matter requirements for eligibility.

Judging Process and Criteria:

The Morrison Prize seeks to recognize the paper published within the eligibility period that is likely to have the most significant positive long-term impact on the advancement of the environmental sustainability movement.  All eligible papers entered into the prize contest will undergo independent review and scoring by a diverse group of full-time law professors who teach in environmental sustainability-related areas at four different accredited North American law schools.

The contest scoring system focuses primarily on a paper’s (i) quality and originality of analysis (20%) and (ii) potential for real-world impact on policy developments directly related to environmental sustainability goals (80%).  The author’s seniority, home institution, reputational stature and existing body of research are not relevant to the scoring process.


The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law will announce the 2017 Morrison Prize winner in February of 2017.  The winner must present the winning paper at the May 2017 Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators to claim the cash prize.  


2016 Inaugural Morrison Prize Contest Winner: 

Dave Owen & Colin Apse
Trading Dams, 48 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1043 (2015)


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