Three HLS Students Recognized for Outstanding Writing

Harvard Law School has awarded prizes for outstanding written work to three students.

Cassandra Barnum ’10 was awarded the Irving Oberman Memorial Prize in Environmental Law; Jonathan Bressler ’10 was awarded the Irving Oberman Memorial Prize in two categories (Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers and Federalism, and in Legal History); and Ryan Park ’10 was one of two winners of the Yong K. Kim ’95 Memorial Prize. These students are among those recognized for their 2008-2009 writing last spring, as part of the school’s student writing prize competition.

Barnum was recognized for her paper “Injury in Fact, Then and Now (and Never Again): Summers v. Earth Island Institute and the Need for Change in Environmental Standing Law.”  In her paper, she described the origins and development of environmental standing law.  She also raised theoretical objections to the requirement that environmental plaintiffs demonstrate an “injury in fact” in order to be allowed to move forward with a lawsuit, and demonstrated the inadequacies of modern environmental standing law through an examination of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Summers case.

The Irving Oberman Memorial Prizes recognize writing by HLS students in different areas of legal theory.  In 2009, subjects for the award included: Administrative Law; Bankruptcy; Constitutional Law – 14th Amendment; Constitutional Law – Separation of Powers and Federalism; Environmental Law; Intellectual Property; Law and Social Change; and Legal History.  The award was created in 1973 through the bequest of Isabel B. Oberman in memory of her husband, Irving Oberman, A.B. ’17.  Winners are selected annually and receive a prize of $1,000.

Bressler was recognized in the category of Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers and Federalism, and also in the category of Legal History for his paper “The Right of Jury Nullification in Reconstruction-Era Originalism: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Constitutionalization of Judicial Precedent,” which discussed Reconstruction-era judicial practices, legal treatises, dictionaries, Congressional debates, and Congressional legislation in order to explain of how the Fourteenth Amendment’s framers, ratifiers, original interpreters, and original enforcers understood the “new” Constitution and their amendment to affect the right of juries to “nullify,” that is, to refuse to apply existing law in a given case.

The Yong K. Kim ’95 Memorial Prize was established by the East Asian Legal Studies Program in memory of Kim through the generosity of his parents, Professor and Mrs. Joe H. Kim, his family, and many friends at and beyond the Law School.  The prize awards $1,500 to the best student paper concerning law or legal history of the nations and peoples of East Asia or issues of law pertaining to U.S.-East Asia relations. Recipients are also expected to embody Kim’s interest in and enthusiasm for fostering U.S.-East Asian understanding and plan a career that will further advance this. Students’ contributions to the East Asian Legal Studies Program are also considered.

Park received the Kim Prize for “The Globalizing Jury Trial: Lessons and Insights from Korea,” in which he traces the spread of the use of jury trials internationally over the course of history, and both analyzes the socio-political origins of the jury trial in Korea and compares the Korean jury trial with other jury systems, particularly in the U.S. and Western Europe.  Park’s paper will be included in the Summer 2010 issue of the American Journal of Comparative Law.

For Barnum’s paper, click here: http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/3415321

For Bressler’s paper, click here: http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/3335794

To view Park’s paper, click here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1440405