Legal Profession Paper Prize

The HLS Center on the Legal Profession Paper Prize is designed to encourage deeper reflection and consideration by Harvard Law School students about their chosen profession, its role in society, and the many challenges that lawyers face in a rapidly-changing world.

Paper topics must relate to the legal profession itself or to a related aspect of the delivery of professional services. This could include (but is not limited to) topics such as legal careers, the role, structure and management of law firms, in-house legal departments, and other public and private sector legal service providers, diversity or gender-related issues, the impact of globalization or other social trends upon the profession, the role of lawyers and legal institutions in society, changes in the profession over time, comparisons between lawyers and other professional service providers, and the like.

Winners of the paper prize receive a $1,000 award from the Center as well as recognition in the official HLS commencement program. Submission instructions can be found in the HLS Writing Prize website.

For the first decade of this prize, it was generously supported by the law firm of Davis Polk.

Paper Prize Awardees



Noah Eckberg, JD’24
for “Death by 1,000 Pages: The Origins, Entrenching Forces, and Impacts of the 1L Workload”


Shaza Loutfi, JD ’22
for “Remote Lawyering: A Win-Win for Diverse Attorneys and Clients?”

Honorable Mentions:

Lucy Litt, JD ’22
for ““Social Engineering Black Lawyers: Student, Faculty, and Alumni Reflect on Their Experiences with Howard University School of Law”

Sarah Sadler, JD ’22
for “Invisible No More: Harvard Law School’s Native American Graduates and Their Contributions to Indian Country”


Hugh Verrier, JD ’22
for , “Legal Institutions and the Rule of Law: Quantitative Analyses and Theoretical Relationships”

Honorable Mention:

Benzi Edelman, JD ’21 and Jack Goldbrenner. JD ’21
for “Reimaging the Law School Experience: How Law Schools Can Better Train Legal Advocates and Counselors, in a More Cost-Effective Manner”


Matthew Kim, JD ’20
for “Avoiding Even the Appearance of Impropriety: An Empirical Study of Public Perceptions of Ethical Dilemmas in the Legal Profession”

Honorable Mention:

Zachary Dearing, JD ’20
for “From the Lecture Hall to the Corner Office: An Observational Analysis of S&P 500 Chief Executives, Legal and Other Graduate Educational Backgrounds and Its Implications”

Ross Evans, J.D., ’20
for “Actions Speak Louder Than Words: An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship Between the Language AmLaw 100 Firms Use in Their Mission Statements, Website Homepages, and Chambers & Associates Firm Profiles and Firms’ Actual Organizational Commitment to Diversity, Pro Bono Work, Maintaining a Global Presence, and Innovation”

Thomas Snyder, JD ’18
for “Attorney-Client Confidentiality is a Moral Good: Expanding Protections of Confidentiality and Limiting Exceptions”

Daniel West, JD ’17
for “Finding the Lost Lawyer: Pro Bono Service as Continuing Education”

Rebecca Donaldson, JD ’16
for “Law by Non-Lawyers: Will Limited License Legal Technicians Increase Access to Justice?”

Cody Gray, JD ’15
for “A New Model for the Delivery of Legal Services Designed to Vindicate the Right to Vote

Katherine Cheng, JD ’14
for “Law Firm Political Polarization: An Empirical Analysis of Firm Political Contributions”

Duncan Farthing‐Nichol, JD ’14
for “Legal Education for the Administrative State: Dean James M. Landis in the History of American Legal Education”

Dion Chu, JD ’12, Matthew Greenfield, JD ’12 and Peter Zuckerman, JD ’12
for “Judging the Justice Gap: An Analysis of the Flawed Interstate Allocation of Civil Legal Services Funding and a Proposed Remedy”

Dustin Cho, JD’11, David Denton, JD’11, and Benjamin Snyder, JD ’11
for “Representing the Lowest Clients Before the Highest Court: An Empirical Analysis of the Supreme Court’s In Forma Pauperis Docket”

Kurt Chauviere, JD ’10
for “The Business o fEducation Reform: The Needs of India’s New Lawyers and Their Influence on Legal Education”

Eric Nguyen, ’09 and Douglas Brayley, ’09
for “Good Business: A Market‐Based Argument for Law Firm Diversity”

Ming Zhu, ’09
for “Racing Against the Traditional Credentials: An Empirical Study of the Effect of Race in Law School Hiring”