Student Paper on How to Prepare for Autonomous Cars Wins Rudge Prize

Through the generosity of Howard J. Rudge, JD '64, a retired Senior Vice President of DuPont Corporation, the law school awarded a cash prize of $5,000 to Avi Kelin, JD '14, for his paper about why and how the United States should prepare for autonomous cars. The Howard J. Rudge "Creative Solutions" Competition called for papers highlighting a creative solution to a serious societal problem in which conventional solutions are failing.

In his paper, Mr. Kelin proposed that the United States take two steps to prepare for the integration of autonomous cars: impose strict liability for autonomous vehicle accidents on automakers and divide the regulation of the new industry between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and state governments.

"Mr. Rudge and I were impressed with how [Mr. Kelin] combined both the regulatory side and the liability side," said Alan Morrison, Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law, who worked with Mr. Rudge to select winners.

Honorable mentions in the competition were awarded to papers by 2014 JD graduates Benjamin Flick, Colleen Gartner, and Christopher Bell. Mr. Flick proposed a program for universities to help increase enrollment and graduation rates of students from low-income backgrounds. Ms. Gartner and Mr. Bell jointly tackled the problem of engaging young people and increasing American voter turnout.

Family members gathered a day before Commencement to honor the winners at a small ceremony. Deans Maggs and Morrison presented a check to Mr. Kelin, and all winners received certificates recognizing their excellence.

Read the innovative proposals here:

"Last Chance Power Drive: Why and How the United States Should Prepare for Autonomous Cars"
Avi Kelin

"The Pipeline Project: How Colleges Can Solve the Access Gap in Higher Education"
Benjamin Flick

"From Facebook to Ballot Box: An Initiative to Engage Young People and Increase Voter Turnout in America"
Colleen Gartner and Chris Bell