Environmental & Energy Law Awards and Competitions


Students are invited to compete in national and regional energy, environmental, and sustainable competitions. The terms and availability of these competitions are established by their sponsors, but students may earn academic credit for their participation. In the past, our students have competed in the National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition, sponsored by West Virginia University School of Law, the Robert R. Merhige National Environmental Negotiation Competition, and the Pace University Haub School of Law National Environmental Moot Court Competition.

The Jamie Grodsky Environmental Scholarship Prize

Professor Jamie Grodsky


The Jamie Grodsky Prize for Environmental Law Scholarship. was established to honor Professor Grodsky's legacy of leading edge environmental scholarship by encouraging students to produce papers on important environmental issues.

The prize of $5,000 is awarded for the best paper written by a GW Law JD, LLM, or JSD student in the field of environmental law. To receive the prize, a paper must be of publishable quality and make a significant contribution to the theory or practice of environmental law.

The determination of whether a paper falls within the category of environmental law will be within the discretion of the competition jury, but the term is intended to be liberally interpreted to include scholarship in the fields of pollution  control, natural resources, sustainable development, smart growth, agriculture, energy, land use, and animal law.

Papers eligible for the competition include student law journal notes/articles, LLM theses, independent writing projects, and other original papers. Paper may have been submitted for credit at GW Law and may reflect discussions with faculty members, student law review editors, or both. The version of the article submitted for judging, however, may not be the product of significant editorial changes by a person or persons other than the student author. Most of the work on the paper must be done during the time the author has been a student at GW Law.

Papers must have been written in the 12 months prior to the submission deadline. Papers should be between 30 and 75 double-spaced pages in length. No entry may be published prior to the date it is submitted for the competition.

The winner will be selected by a jury consisting of at least one GW Law faculty member, a faculty member from another law school, and a GW Law alumnus. Criteria for selecting the winner include originality, innovation, depth of scholarship, the importance of the environmental issue addressed, and the quality of writing and analysis. In its sole discretion, the committee may decide that no paper merits the award in a particular year.

The Jamie Grodsky Prize is awarded each year at an awards ceremony held in connection with the Law School's annual J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Conference. The winning paper is published in the GW Journal of Energy and Environmental Law, or another GW Law journal if for any reason the Journal of Energy and Environmental Law does not. Students who enter the competition must provide written permission to GW Law to print their paper in a GW publication should they be awarded the prize.

Past Winners


2018 Winner

Brian Gumz, JD '18, Administrative Nonacquiescence and the EPA



Thomas Alford

2017 Winner

Thomas Alford, LLM '16, Off the Grid: Facilitating the Acquisition of Microgrids for Military Installations to Achieve Energy Security and Sustainability



Adrienne Thompson

2016 Winner

Adrienne Thompson, LLM, Preparing for the Energy Future by Creating It: What State Public Utility Commissions Can do to Promote Sustainable Energy Policies, 7 Journal of Energy and Environmental Law No. 3, at 215 (2016)

Jason Hull

2015 Winner

Major Jason Hull, LLM '14, Hey Now, Let’s Be Social: The Social Cost of Carbon and the Case for Its Inclusion in the Government’s Procurement of Electricity, 7 Journal of Energy and Environmental Law No. 1, at 18 (2016)

Molly Masterton

2014 Winner

Molly Masterton, JD '14, Promoting Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy and Managing Environmental Risk: Toward an Adaptive Management Strategy, 5 Journal of Energy and Environmental Law No. 2, at 7 (2014)

Joel Meister

2013 Winner

Joel Meister, JD '14, Sunny Dispositions: Modernizing Investment Tax Credit Recapture Rules for Solar Energy Project Finance after the Stimulus 5 Journal of Energy and Environmental Law No. 3, at 15 (2014)

Jonathan Dowling

2012 Winner

LCDR Jonathan Dowling, JAGC, USN, LLM ‘11, Improving Energy Security with the Great Green Fleet: The Case for Transitioning from Ethanol to Drop-In Renewable Fuels, 4 Journal of Energy and Environmental Law No. 2, at 82 (2013)

Renee Martin-Nagle

2011 Winner

Renee Martin-Nagle, LLM '10, Fossil Aquifers: A Common Heritage of Mankind, 2 Journal of Energy and Environmental Law No. 2, at 39 (2011)