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Awards and Recognition

Student Writing Award Eligibility Requirements

The Award:  

The award recipient will receive $500, and have their article published on AHLA’s website and promoted via social media.  

Nomination Process:  

The student’s paper must be nominated by a professor. Self-nominations and nominations made by classmates will not be accepted.   

Student Criteria:  

  1. The student must be a student member of AHLA. (Student subscription is free.) 

  1. The student: (1) must be currently enrolled and in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school, LLM, ML, or health-related graduate program when the professor nominates the student’s paper; or (2) must have written the paper while enrolled and in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school, LLM, ML, or health-related graduate program and been nominated by the professor within six months of the student’s graduation from the program.   

  1. Exclusivity of submission is not required. 

Evaluation Criteria:  

The paper should: 

  1. Focus on a health law, health policy, and/or health compliance issue that is timely, relevant, and of interest to health law attorneys and health industry professionals.  

  1. Provide background/history on the chosen topic so that it’s clear to readers why the topic is worth writing about.  

  1. Clearly and accurately identify, articulate, and analyze the topic’s legal and/or policy issues. 

  1. Because AHLA is a nonpartisan educational association, the paper should not focus on advocacy of a single position and should provide well-developed counterarguments/alternative points of view (if appropriate) to provide a balanced paper. 

  2. Meets a very high standard of quality suitable for publishing on the AHLA website. 

Please Note: We understand that students may have limited practical/application experience to share on the issue(s) being written about, but the student’s paper should still strive to provide realistic suggestions/recommendations/analysis or alternative ways to address or analyze the topic of the paper.  

Selection Process:  

A panel of judges will evaluate the papers and select the winning paper. When appropriate, the judges will also have the option of giving an honorable mention to one or more papers, limited to a maximum of two honorable mentions. Honorable mentions should only be awarded in the case of outstanding work, nearly on par with the winning paper. Judges may, during any given year, determine that none of the papers submitted for consideration are award-worthy. 

All submissions will be anonymized, meaning that judges evaluating the papers will not see the name of the student, law or graduate school, or nominating professor. 

Judging Panel:  

A dedicated judging panel composed of three to seven AHLA members will be selected. Those serving on the panel must be available for a specified term of service, with the expectation that they will commit time to review and score papers; participate in one or more virtual meetings to review the entries and scores; and reach consensus on the recommended winner. Members will be required to disclose any potential conflict of interest in serving as a potential judge and will only be able to serve on a single panel at any given time.  

Papers must be nominated and submitted by November 15. The winner (and when appropriate, the honorable mention) will be announced in mid-April, 2025.