May 2014 Bar Bulletin
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And the Winner Is ...


While riffing on the theme for this issue, Curtain, I was thinking of "The Wizard of Oz," Academy Awards, etc., and wondered if awards were given for legal publications. As a parent, you probably are familiar with the annual Caldecott Awards given to the most distinguished American picture book and the Newbery Medal given to the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Among the most notable awards are the Pulitzer Prize Award for literature and the Man Booker Award.

I did a little research to see if legal publications also were acknowledged. I discovered that Scribes: The American Society of Legal Writers has presented an annual award for the best work of legal scholarship since 1961. Its award in 2013 went to Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History, by John Fabian Witt (Free Press, 2013).

Lincoln's Code also was awarded the James Willard Hurst, Jr. Prize from the Law and Society Association, and the John Phillip Reid Book Award from the American Society for Legal History. Outside of the legal field, it was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Bancroft Prize winner from Columbia University, an ABA Silver Gavel Award winner and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

The Law and Society Association also honored books from all fields of, and approaches to, law and society scholarship. Its 2013 Herbert Jacob Book Prize was awarded to Everyday Law on the Streets: City Governance in an Age of Diversity, by Mariana Valverde (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

The American Society for Legal History honors excellence in scholarship in the field of American legal history by graduate students, law students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty not yet tenured. The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation presented the Cromwell Book Prize to Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America, by Jonathan Levy (Harvard University Press, 2012).

In the Public Interest: Medical Licensing and the Disciplinary Process, by Ruth Horowitz (Rutgers University Press, 2013), won the Distinguished Book Award from the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association. The Future of International Law: Global Government, by Joel Tractman (Cambridge University Press, 2013) won the International Law Book Award from the International Studies Association.

Hats off to these organizations who honor legal literature.


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