Congratulations to the 2013 Law and Society Association Award Winners!

The awards will be presented at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting
in Boston on Saturday, June 1, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm.


Winner(s) and Basis for Award

Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Award 




blackDonald Black
University of Virginia

Donald Black asks fundamental questions about law’s authority and efficacy – in its practices of deliberation, legitimation and communication; in the ways these reformulate cultural ideas from wider, non-legal domains; and as ideas that spark new research and reflection. His insights travel readily across disciplines and borders. His publications have been widely recognized, reprinted, and translated – including languages underrepresented in our transnational community of scholars. From his early work on the social organization of law and “the behavior of law” to studies of policing and on-going explorations of ethics, temporality and the idea of justice, Black’s sociological imagination has been a vital example and generative resource for law and society scholarship.

zimringFranklin Zimring
University of California, Berkeley

Franklin Zimring has made wide-ranging contributions to law and society research through his studies of crime and criminal law’s attempts to control it, especially with regard to lethal violence and its instrumentalities; the effects of imprisonment; criminal sentencing; adolescent crime and juvenile justice policy; and capital punishment. In each of his main areas of endeavor, his work has influenced scholarship and U.S. public policy, and continues to do so. His many publications across the fields of law and the social sciences have charted new pathways for other researchers, improving our understandings of crime and the potential for theorizing in criminology. His work has helped advance public policy committed to reducing crime and advancing human rights.

J. Willard Hurst

wittJohn Witt
Yale University

Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History
The Free Press

John Witt's Lincoln's Code is a tour de force of legal history.  Its sweeping narrative of the origins of the modern law of war carries us from the battlefields of the American Revolution, through Indian Removal, to the carnage of Sherman's march and Gettysburg.  At the center of the narrative is a legal code, the set of rules for wartime commissioned by Abraham Lincoln and written by Francis Lieber, that is still the basis for the laws of war.  Witt demonstrates the way statesmen, soldiers, and lawyers struggled with the competing aims of humanitarianism and justice, and the way Lieber's code constrained some aspects of inhumanity in battle, yet allowed mass destruction in the name of a just cause.  And he shows how slavery shaped the laws of war:  the protection of slave property had been seen as a chief humanitarian accomplishment during the Revolution, but during the Civil War, the military imperative of emancipation helped to establish the primacy of justice over humanitarianism in Lieber's code.  In doing so, it gave the U.S. Civil War a global significance it otherwise might not have had. 

Weaving together deep archival research, compelling biography, incisive legal analysis, and entertaining storytelling, Lincoln's Code is a groundbreaking, original history with enduring significance for our times.  John Witt has pushed the boundaries of traditional sociolegal history and given us a new way to think about the history of war, with law at its troubled center. It will endure as a touchstone in the field, both for its nimble navigation of source material and its sheer interpretive force. Lincoln’s Code is a model of scholarly work that is both firmly grounded in historical analysis and profoundly relevant to the contemporary world.

mackHonorable Mention
Kenneth Mack
Harvard University

Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer

Harvard University Press
dauberHonorable Mention
Michele Landis Dauber
Stanford University

The Sympathetic State: Disaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State

University Of Chicago Press

Herbert Jacob
Book Award


valverdeMariana Valverde
University of Toronto

Everyday Law on the Streets: City Governance in an Age of Diversity
University of Chicago Press (2012)

Toronto prides itself on being “the world’s most diverse city,” and its officials seek to support this diversity through programs and policies designed to promote social inclusion. Yet this progressive vision of law often falls short in practice, limited by problems inherent in the political culture itself. In Everyday Law on the Street, Mariana Valverde brings to light the often unexpected ways that the development and implementation of policies shape everyday urban life.

Drawing on four years spent participating in council hearings and civic association meetings and shadowing housing inspectors and law enforcement officials as they went about their day-to-day work, Valverde reveals a telling transformation between law on the books and law on the streets. She finds, for example, that some of the democratic governing mechanisms generally applauded—public meetings, for instance—actually create disadvantages for marginalized groups, whose members are less likely to attend or articulate their concerns. As a result, both officials and citizens fail to see problems outside the point of view of their own needs and neighborhood.

 Taking issue with Jane Jacobs and many others, Valverde ultimately argues that Toronto and other diverse cities must reevaluate their allegiance to strictly local solutions. If urban diversity is to be truly inclusive—of tenants as well as homeowners, and recent immigrants as well as longtime residents—cities must move beyond micro-local planning and embrace a more expansive, citywide approach to planning and regulation.

A beautifully written and ingenious exploration of the day-to-day, on-the-ground enforcement of municipal regulations—and, hence, urban governance—in Toronto. The topics are wide-ranging and include affordable housing and land use issues, the regulation of street-food vendors, and the taxi permit system, among others. It is an excellent empirical study of what law and society scholars call ‘law in action’ and the various and often unpredictable ways such law veers from the ostensible intentions of those who write the law in the books.

John Hope Franklin


ferrerAda Ferrer
New York University

Haiti, Free Soil, and Antislavery in the Revolutionary Atlantic

117 American Historical Review 40 (2012)

In her article Haiti, Free Soil, and Antislavery in the Revolutionary Atlantic, Ada Ferrer provides an excellent example of how Haitian legal institutions and principles influenced the Atlantic world, including discussions of human rights and emancipation. Specifically, Ferrer presents a case study in the application of the Haitian Republic’s Constitution of 1816 to create a safe-haven territory to which slaves and even free blacks could escape or migrate with the expectation of living as free people, and she traces the effect of this law, and more generally the Haitian Revolution, on the slave societies that surrounded Haiti in the Caribbean and Atlantic, and even the effect of these factors in Europe, the United States and South America.

Law and Society
Article Award


Alexandra Natapoff
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

,Southern California Law Review 85: 1313-1375

In this highly ambitious and beautifully written article, Alexandra Natapoff argues for a paradigm shift in how we think about crime.  While misdemeanor convictions are typically dismissed as unimportant, the article persuasively insists that misdemeanants must be a focus of study.  Over ten million petty cases are filed every year; the vast majority of U.S. convictions are misdemeanors.  Largely informal and deregulated, the processing of misdemeanors generates convictions in bulk, with serious consequences. 

Natapoff demonstrates that the felony-centric nature of legal scholarship misapprehends the reality of the American criminal process.  In ignoring misdemeanors – the mass of cases at the bottom of the pyramid – legal scholarship actually underestimates the dysfunctionality of the system.    Specifically, she argues, the misdemeanor process both corrodes the significance of law and evidence through its practice of punishment without fault, and enables the racialization of crime through generating criminals based upon vulnerability unconstrained by standard evidentiary requirements. 

In her insistence that misdemeanors be the focus of socioloegal study, Natapoff opens doors for entirely new avenues of inquiry.

Kitty Calavita


Valerie Jenness

Honorable Mentions
Kitty Calavita, Valerie Jenness
University of California, Irvine

Inside the Pyramid of Disputes: Naming Problems and Filing Grievances in California Prisons
Social Problems 60(1): 1-31
chuaHonorable Mention
Lynette J. Chua
National University of Singapore

Pragmatic Resistance, Law, and Social Movements in Authoritarian States: The Case of Gay Collective Action in Singapore,
Law and Society Review 46(4): 713-748

Law and Society
International Award


nelkenDavid Nelken
University of Macerata and University of Wales, Cardiff

Nelken has distinguished himself in several different areas of scholarship and has been an indefatigable promoter of comparative research and of systematic empirical research in scholarly communities where it is underdeveloped.   Perhaps his greatest contribution has been to champion the systematic study of legal culture.  He has published a number of important methodological articles and books explaining how this elusive concept can be put to good use in sociolegal studies, and to especially good use in comparative research.  Some of his most important books in this area include The Politics of Corruption and the Corruption of Politics (1996), Comparing Legal Cultures (1997), Contrasting Criminal Justice (2000), Adapting Leal Cultures (2001, with J. Feest), Exploring Legal Cultures (2007, with F Burisma), A Handbook of Comparative law (with E. Orucu), European Ways of Law (with V. Gessner), and Comparative Criminal Justice (2010).
Get information about Professor Nelken's book, Comparative Criminal Justice.

Stanton Wheeler
Mentorship Award

friedmanLawrence M. Friedman
Stanford University

Lawrence M. Friedman has served as a beloved mentor to generations of students, colleagues, and scholars in the law and society tradition. Teaching over many years in a law school environment, he has educated and inspired not only his JD students but also undergraduate students and students in other graduate programs and professional schools. Students from outside the United States benefited from the international legal studies programs that Lawrence has helped to sustain. Colleagues near and far regard him as a model of “first-rate citizenship and institution-building for the profession at large.”

Lawrence Friedman’s mentorship goes well beyond inspiring others by outstanding teaching and brilliant and prolific scholarship. Many nominators wrote movingly of the way in which Lawrence Friedman took deep interest in their personal well-being and professional development. He offered trenchant advice and unflagging support that transformed their lives.

  • “I may not have found my place in legal education at all, but for Lawrence’s insightful tutelage and sheer tenacity in laboring long term as my mentor.”
  • “He believed in my potential as a scholar, perhaps even more than I did myself.”
  • “Without Lawrence’s support for my research and teaching ambitions, I truly do not know whether I would have been able to pursue the path that I have to this day.”
  • “His influence and his example impressed upon me the importance of doing everything I can to mentor my own students.”

For his outstanding mentorship of law and society scholars, Lawrence Friedman richly deserves the Stan Wheeler Mentorship Award.

Ronald Pipkin
Service Award

schwartzRichard D. “Red” Schwartz
Yale University and Syracuse University

Richard D. (“Red”) Schwartz is selected for the Pipkin Prize for his role in founding and institutionalizing the Law and Society Association. A core member of the founders of the Association, Dr. Schwartz helped draft the bylaws, develop a mailing list, and recruit others in the early years. As first editor of the Law & Society Review and second president of LSA, following the late Robert Yegge, Dr. Schwartz recruited major scholars across several disciplines to publish in the Review and obtained critical funding from the Russell Sage Foundation and Northwestern University to support the fledgling association and journal. Later as dean at SUNY-Buffalo and initial director of the Baldy Center, he hosted in 1975 the first national meeting of LSA separate from another disciplinary association’s meeting. Dr. Schwartz has continued as an active member of LSA into his retirement, organizing panels to explore core issues in law and society.

Now the Ernest I. White Professor Emeritus at the College of Law of Syracuse University and Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School, Dr. Schwartz earned his B.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology at Yale, and went on to teaching, research, and administrative positions at Yale, Northwestern, and Buffalo before Syracuse. While at Northwestern, he headed the Council for Intersocietal Studies and helped to develop the joint J.D.-Ph.D. program in law and social science. Dr. Schwartz is author of many scholarly publications, including Society and the Legal Order, Unobtrusive Measures, Criminal Law: Theory and Process, and the Handbook of Regulation and Administrative Law. His current scholarly interests include natural law, administrative law, and the impact of welfare reform.



schonthalBenjamin Schonthal
University of Chicago

Ruling Religion: Buddhism, Politics and Law in Contemporary Sri Lanka

Nominator: Winnifred Sullivan, SUNY, Buffalo

Ruling Religion: Buddhism, Politics and Law in Contemporary Sri Lanka, is an original, important, and sophisticated, contribution to our understanding of post colonial constitution-making, the regulation of religion in the modern state, and the negotiation for legal and religious position in Sri Lanka in particular. Schonthal’s use of both archival and ethnographic methods is exemplary and sets a standard of excellence in the interdisciplinary study of the intersection of religion and law today. Schonthal displays an intimate familiarity with the way these issues have played out on the ground in Sri Lanka since independence, while being attentive in an unusual way more broadly and comparatively to the interaction among normative, historical, and social-scientific approaches to these issues.

Student Paper Prize


greenbaumCarter Greenbaum
Princeton University

Stories to Monies: Sociological Perspectives on the Meaning of Money In International Commercial Mediation

Nominator: Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University

“(M)ediation speaks . . . in the language of stories and monies. It has the power to construct narratives, transform and then translate them into money. Something happens - A worker dies; an elderly woman’s life savings vanishes; a company can’t pay their rent; a man is fired from his job; a bank loses $200 million; police officers break a man’s skull.  These are the facts. In the end, the litigant leaves the room with money. Yet the number renders invisible the multiple layers of meaning for those who were not present at mediation.” 

This compelling excerpt from Carter Greenbaum’s essay hints at the rich analysis through which he explores the roles of stories, monies, and people in the world of mediation.  Greenbaum shows how complicated and disputed stories and conflict resolution are translated in to monetary values.  Importantly, monetary awards can express and resolve a particular dispute without necessarily compelling the parties to agree on a single narrative; monetary awards, therefore, are not mere outcomes of the process, but integral parts which serve to facilitate the coexistence of multiple truths and thereby facilitate mediation and resolution.

Graduate Student
Paper Prize

myrickAmy Myrick
Northwestern University

Facing Your Criminal Record:  Expungement and the Collateral Problem of Wrongfully Represented Self
Nominator: Laura Beth Nielsen, Northwestern University and American Bar Foundation

Criminal records are authoritative textual representations of an individual’s past encounters with the law that are freighted with important ramifications for ongoing and future interactions with the state, employers, landlords, and others.   Myrick follows the stories of citizens who seek expungement of their records and is able to trace the ways in which the system of records depersonalizes identities and obstructs citizen’s corrective efforts to assert their self-understandings.  Denied access to the institutional processes that create the record, and normally frustrated in their corrective efforts, Myrick concludes that “(t)his ‘wrongful representation’ is a collateral effect of having a  criminal record that impedes the ability of ex-arrestees to manage or repair their relationship with the state that has punished them.”

rubinHonorable Mention
Ashley T. Rubin
University of California, Berkeley

The Unintended Consequences of Penal Reform:  A Case Study of Penal Transportation in Eighteenth-Century London
Nominator: Malcolm Feeley, University of California, Berkeley