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Cornell Law Library Prize for Exemplary Student Research


To be eligible to win, applicants must:

  • Be of 2L (JD), 3L (JD), or LLM status at Cornell Law School
  • Have completed a scholarly research paper in the time period spanning June, 2012 May, 2013.

Acceptable papers:

  • May include, but are not limited to, papers written for a class or journal notes. Work product generated through summer or other employment will not be accepted
  • Must be a minimum of 10 pages in length
  • Must be written in proper Bluebook format
  • Must be properly footnoted

Application Procedure:

Applications must be submitted via email to Amy Emerson.

Entries must be accompanied by

  • The author's name, law school year, degree anticipated, and contact information.
  • A one page abstract (500 words or less) summarizing the research process involved, the lessons learned from that research process, the original purpose for which the paper was written, and the professor for whom the paper was written, if applicable.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2012-2013 period. Papers will be accepted on an ongoing basis through May, 2013.

Selection Criteria:

A panel composed of five Research Attorneys will judge submissions based on how well they demonstrate the following:

  • Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of research materials, including, but not limited to, print resources, electronic search engines and databases, primary and secondary legal resources, interdisciplinary resources, and empirical resources
  • Exceptional innovation in research strategy, including the ability to locate, select, and evaluate research materials with discretion
  • Skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis


Funding for the Cornell Law Library Prize for Exemplary Student Research is provided by an endowment given to the Law Library by Barbara Cantwell in honor of her late husband, Robert Cantwell, a 1956 graduate of Cornell Law School.


  • First Place - $500.00
  • Second Place - $250.00
  • Winners are invited to publish their paper in Scholarship@Cornell Law, a digital repository of the Cornell Law Library.  Here, papers are provided with exposure to the global community, including scholars, researchers, and potential employers. 
  • Winners are further invited to contribute to a Reading Room display about their research for public exhibition during the year following receipt of the prize. 

2012 Recipients:

  • First Place: Annexation of the Jury's Role in Res Judicata Disputes: The Silent Migration from Question of Fact to Question of Law, by Steven Madrid
  • Second Place: Targeted Killing and Just War: Reconciling Kill-Capture Missions and the Combatant Civilian Framework, by Louis Guard

2011 Recipients: