Ross-Blakley Law Library

Award for Exemplary Student Research


The purpose of the award is to encourage students to focus on practical skills and to refine their research skills beyond ordinary proficiency to their personal best. The award also serves as a means to showcase extraordinary student research.


To be eligible to win, applicants must:
  • Be of 2L (JD), 3L (JD), MLS or LLM status at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
  • Have completed a scholarly research paper in the time period spanning June 2015– April 2016.

Acceptable Papers

  • May include, but are not limited to, papers written for a class or journal notes. Work product generated through summer or other employment will not be accepted. Moot Court Briefs will not be accepted. Papers written for Advanced Legal Research will not be accepted.
  • Must be a minimum of 3,750 words
  • Must be written in proper Bluebook format

Application Procedure

Applications must be submitted electronically via the online Submission Form.
Entries must be accompanied by:
  • The author's name, law school year, degree anticipated, and contact information.
  • A one page abstract (500 words or less) summarizing the research process involved, the lessons learned from that research process, the original purpose for which the paper was written, and the professor for whom the paper was written, if applicable.
Papers will be accepted on an ongoing basis through April 1, 2016. Winners will be notified by May 1, 2016.

Selection Criteria

A panel composed of two Law Librarians and one Legal Writing Instructor will judge submissions based on how well they demonstrate the following:
  • Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of research materials, including, but not limited to, print resources, electronic search engines and databases, primary and secondary legal resources, interdisciplinary resources, and empirical resources
  • Exceptional innovation in research strategy, including the ability to locate, select, and evaluate research materials with discretion
  • Skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis


  • First Place - $500.00 and a Certificate of Recognition
  • Second Place - $250.00 and a Certificate of Recognition
  • Winners are invited to publish their paper in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Faculty Scholarship Repository, a digital repository of the Ross-Blakley Law Library.  Here, papers are provided with exposure to the global community, including scholars, researchers, and potential employers. 
  • Winners are further invited to showcase their writing in the Faculty Scholarship Display case located in the Law Library lobby for public exhibition during the year following receipt of the award.
The Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research is given at the discretion of the panel of judges and is not necessarily awarded every year.


Funding for the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research will be provided by the Law Library.


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