Student Scholarship: Creative Solutions Competition

Law School Announces Annual $5,000 Prize for Paper Proposing Creative Solution to Pressing Societal Problem

Through the generosity of Howard J. Rudge, JD '64, a retired Senior Vice President of DuPont Corporation, the Law School will award a cash prize of $5000 to a GW student enrolled in the J.D. or LL.M. degree program for the best paper proposing a creative solution to a serious societal problem in the United States.

The paper should not be a standard law review treatment of a case or area of law. Rather, students should focus on a particular problem, for which conventional solutions do not seem to be working, and propose an alternative that is effective, reasonable in cost, and politically possible. The problem could be national, state, or local, and the idea could be implemented by any of the three branches of government, or by the private (including nonprofit) sector. It could address a major issue–eliminating the federal deficit or changing the way that we treat the final stages of life–or it could focus on a smaller scale problem, such as assuring minimal standards for public charter schools, while allowing them to maintain the ability to innovate. Any subject is fair game, and no solution is ruled out, as long as it is innovative.  If there was ever a project that looked for solutions “outside the box,” this is it.

Requirements for the Submission

  • Any GW student currently enrolled in the JD or LLM degree program is eligible. Students may make a collaborative submission, in which case the prize will be divided among the authors.
  • Papers should be approximately 5000 words (20 pages), double-spaced in at least 12 point type. Shorter papers are permitted, but they must describe both the problem and solution in sufficient detail for the judges to make a fair assessment of the idea. Substantially longer papers are discouraged, but are not precluded. Papers should be scholarly and policy oriented, but not footnote driven.
  • While it is important to explain the background of the problem being addressed, the majority of the paper should be devoted to the solution, including the reasons that it is likely to be effective.  If there is an existing law on the subject that needs to be changed, the paper should acknowledge that fact and also discuss any barriers to implementing that change.
  • The solution should bring to bear the student’s legal training, but it does not necessarily have to involve a new law or regulation.
  • The problem can have non-U.S. aspects or impacts, but it must have a significant U.S. element as well.
  • Papers submitted for academic credit are not eligible for the prize.

Other Information

  • The deadline for submission is 5pm on Monday, March 17, 2014. The submission should be sent by email to Associate Dean Alan Morrison’s assistant, Kristen Pallmeyer at
  • Dean Morrison, Mr. Rudge, and potentially a third person, will judge the competition.
  • In their discretion, the judges may award prizes to more than one submission, in the same or different amounts, but the total will not exceed $5,000.
  • If the winner is graduating this year, the prize will be presented by Mr. Rudge on May 17, the Saturday of graduation weekend, at the prize ceremony.
  • If the judges conclude that no paper meets these criteria, they may choose not to award a prize.


Spotlight Item: Howard J. Rudge, J.D. '64

Howard J. Rudge, J.D. '64

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