The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation offers an annual prize of $5,000 for the best article in American legal history published by an early career scholar.  Articles published in the preceding calendar year in the field of American legal history, broadly conceived, will be considered.  There is a preference for articles in the colonial and early national periods.

A subcommittee of the Cromwell Prize Advisory Committee of the American Society for Legal History (the “ASLH”) reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the Foundation.  This subcommittee invites nominations for the article prize.  Authors are invited to nominate themselves or others may nominate works meeting the criteria that they have read and enjoyed.

Application Procedure:

The application procedure is described on the ASLH website, which may be accessed by clicking the following link:

Past Recipients

Year Winner
2016 Daragh Grant, The Treaty of Hartford (1638): Reconsidering Jurisdiction in Southern New England, William and Mary Quarterly 72 (2015): 461-498.
2015 George Ablavsky, The Savage Constitution. 63 Duke L.J. 5 (Feb. 2014).
2014 Nicholas Parillo, Leviathan and Interpretive Revolution: The Administrative State, the Judiciary, and the Rise of Legislative History, 1980-1950, 123 Yale L.J. 266 (2013).
2013 Justin Driver, The Constitutional Conservatism of the Warren Court, 100 Cal. L. Rev. 1101 (2012).
2012 David Freeman Engstrom, The Lost Origins of American Fair Employment Law: Regulatory Choice and the Making of Modern Civil Rights, 1943-1972, 63 Stan. L. Rev. 1071 (2011).
2011 Krishanti Vignarajah, The Political Roots of Judicial Legitimacy: Explaining the Enduring Validity of the Insular Cases, 77 U. Chi. L. Rev. 781 (2010).