Law and Courts (Section 2)

The purpose of this section is to promote interest in teaching and research in the areas of law and the judicial process.

Section Membership Dues

Student Regular
$0 (Online Only Journal) $30 
Founded: 1983
Public Discussion List: LAWCOURT-L Listserv

Section Counts

Section Officers


Chair Susan Burgess, Ohio University
Chair-Elect Richard Pacelle, University of Tennessee
Treasurer Lee Walker, University of North Texas
Secretary Nikol Alexander-Floyd, Rutgers University
Journal Editor Justin Wedeking, University of Kentucky
[email protected]
Tom Clark, Emory University
[email protected]

2021 Annual Meeting
Division Chairs

Erin Kaheny, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
[email protected]
Rebecca Reid, University of Texas at El Paso
[email protected]

J. Jarpa Dawuni, Howard University
Virginia Hettinger, University of Connecticut
Laura Moeyr, University of Louisville
Daniel Naurin, Oslo University
Douglas Rice, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Teena Wilhelm, University of Georgia


Section Journal
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Donate now to S02 Law and Courts Contribution


Section Awards

Section awards are presented during the APSA annual meeting awards ceremony. To learn more about any award listed, contact the award committee chair for the award.

All section 02. Law and Courts awards to-date »

Law and Courts Best Conference Paper Award

The Law and Courts Best Conference Paper Award (formerly the American Judicature Society Award) is given annually for the best paper on law and courts presented at the previous year’s annual meetings of the American, International, or regional political science associations. Single- and co-authored papers, written by political scientists, are eligible. Papers may be nominated by any member of the Section. Deadline for nominations: TBA

Award Committee

Name Affiliation Email
Wendy Martinek (chair) State University of New York at Binghamton [email protected]
Elizabeth Chrun McGill University [email protected]
Lisa Conant University of Denver [email protected]
Edward Kammerer Idaho State University [email protected]
Dagmar Soennecken York University [email protected]

Law and Courts Best Graduate Student Paper

This award (formerly the CQ Press Award) is given annually for the best paper in the field of law and courts written by a graduate student. To be eligible, the nominated paper must have been written by a full-time graduate student. Single- and co-authored papers are eligible. In the case of co-authored papers, each author must have been a full-time graduate student at the time the paper was written. Submitted papers may have been written for any purpose (including papers written for seminar, scholarly meetings, and for potential publication in academic journals). This is NOT, however, a dissertation or thesis prize.* Papers may be nominated by faculty members or by the students themselves. The papers must have been written during the twelve months previous to the nomination deadline. Deadline for nominations: TBA

Award Committee

Name Affiliation Email

Charles "Tony" Smith (chair)

University of California, Irvine [email protected]
Susan Achury Miami University [email protected]
Scott Barclay Arizona State University [email protected]
Lisa Holmes University of Vermont [email protected]
Jonathan Parent LeMoyne College [email protected]

Law and Courts Best Journal Article Award

This award recognizes the best journal article in the field of law and courts written by a political scientist and published during the previous calendar year. Articles published in all refereed journals and in law reviews are eligible, but book reviews, review essays, and chapters published in edited volumes are not eligible. Journal editors and members of the section may nominate articles. (This award was previously known as McGraw Hill Award and as the Houghton-Mifflin Award for the Best Journal Article in the Field of Law and Courts). Deadline for nominations: TBA

Award Committee

Name Affiliation Email
Kathleen Sullivan Ohio University [email protected]
Traci Burch Northwestern University [email protected]
Tao Dumas College of New Jersey [email protected]
Maya Sen Harvard University [email protected]
Lisa Vanhala University College London [email protected]
Joshua Wilson University of Denver [email protected]

C. Herman Pritchett Award

The C. Herman Pritchett award is given annually for the best book on law and courts written by a political scientist and published the previous year. Please note that case books and edited books are not eligible for consideration. Books may be nominated by publishers or by members of the Section. Deadline for Nominations: TBA

Award Committee

Name Affiliation Email
Jeffrey Dudas University of Connecticut [email protected]
Taniesha Means Vassar College [email protected]
Paul Passavant Hobart and William Smith Colleges [email protected]
Julio Rios-Figueroa Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas [email protected]
Joanna Wuest Princeton University [email protected]

Law and Courts Lifetime Achievement Award

Given for a lifetime of significant scholarship, teaching and service to the Law and Courts field. Nominees must be political scientists who are at least 65 years of age or who have been active in the field for at least 25 years. Nominations from previous competitions will be carried forward to the current year’s competition. The committee will retain nominations for 3 years, but you are invited to re-nominate an individual and renew the materials in the file during each cycle. Nominations may be made by any member of the Section and should consist of a statement outlining the contributions of the nominee and, if possible, a copy of the nominee’s vitae. Deadline for Nominations: TBA

Award Committee

Name Affiliation Email
Susan Sterett (chair) University of Maryland-Baltimore County [email protected]
Rachel Cichowski University of Washington [email protected]
Tamir Moustafa Simon Fraser University [email protected]
Miriam Smith York University [email protected]
Art Ward Northern Illinois University [email protected]

Law and Courts Lasting Contribution Award

Awarded annually to a book or journal article, 10 years old or older, that has made a lasting impression on the field of law and courts. Only books and articles written by political scientists are eligible; single-authored works produced by winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award are not eligible. Any member of the Section may submit a nomination. The nomination should include a statement outlining the nature of the contribution of the nominated work.Deadline for Nominations: TBA


Award Committee

Name Affiliation Email
Carol Nackenoff Swarthmore College [email protected]
Eileen Braman Indiana University [email protected]
Jinee Lokaneeta Drew University [email protected]
Jerry Thomas University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh [email protected]
Lydia Tiede University of Houston [email protected]

Law and Courts Service Award

The Law and Courts Service Award recognizes service to the section in the literal sense, as in service on committees and in leadership positions, as well as service within the Section, as in service to the profession within the field of law and courts in the form of archiving data, promoting infrastructure, representing the profession in the media, etc. Deadline for Nominations: TBA


Award Committee

Name Affiliation Email
Keith Bybee (chair) Syracuse University [email protected]
Sara Benesh University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee [email protected]
Jennifer Fredette Ohio University [email protected]
Lauren McCarthy University of Massachusetts Amherst [email protected]
Veronica Michel City University of New York [email protected]
Jason Pierceson University of Illinois-Springfield [email protected]

Law and Courts Teaching and Mentoring Award

The Teaching and Mentoring Award recognizes innovative teaching and instructional methods and materials in law and courts. Examples of innovations that might be recognized by this award include (but are not limited to) outstanding textbooks, websites, classroom exercises, syllabi, or other devices designed to enhance the transmission of knowledge about law and courts to undergraduate or graduate students. Any member of the section may make a nomination for the Teaching and Mentoring Award by submitting a statement identifying the nominee and outlining the nature of the her or his innovation and the contribution it makes to achieving the purposes of the award (e-mail attachments, in the form of .pdf files, are acceptable). The Teaching and Mentoring Award is supported by a generous contribution from the Division for Public Education of the American Bar Association. Deadline for Nominations: TBA


Award Committee

Name Affiliation Email
Stephen Engel (chair)` Bates College [email protected]
Cyril Ghosh Wagner College [email protected]
Lisa Hilbink University of Minnesota [email protected]
Joseph Mello DePaul University [email protected]
Jamie Rowen University of Massachusetts Amherst [email protected]