cari sietstra award for excellence in organizing

Named in honor of LSRJ's visionary founder, former Executive Director, and organizer extraordinaire, this prize is awarded annually to a current LSRJ member or chapter that has demonstrated excellence in campus organizing in the previous three semesters. The Award Review Committee consists of LSRJ staff and student members. Criteria considered include applicants' efforts to advocate for RJ on their campuses and in their communities, successes in overcoming adversity, and participation in the LSRJ network on the regional or national levels. The winning chapter or individual receives a trophy and prize money – to put toward their organizing efforts, of course!

Past recipients of the Cari Sietstra Award include:

2015 – University of Chicago LSRJ Chapter

2014 – George Washington University Law School LSRJ Chapter, and Temple University School of Law LSRJ Chapter

2013 – Tulane University Law School LSRJ Chapter

2012 – Bridgette Dunlap & Emily Wolf (Fordham Law), Georgetown University Law Center LSRJ Chapter, and University of Michigan Law School LSRJ Chapter

2011 – Laura Buchs ('11, University of Wisconsin School of Law), Lillian Hewko ('11, University of Washington School of Law), and Thomas Jefferson School of Law LSRJ Chapter

2010 – Joe Austen ('10, University of Iowa School of Law)

2009 – Madison Burnett ('09, Georgia State University College of Law)

2008 – Joy Levin Welan ('08, Georgetown University Law Center)

sarah weddington writing prize for student scholarship in reproductive rights law

Law students tend to write their papers, comments, and notes on current legal topics pertaining to their course materials. With a lack of course coverage of reproductive rights and justice, students need an outside incentive to dedicate their time and attention to research and writing in this field of study. To incentivize and inspire student scholarship, LSRJ annually awards three student authors the Sarah Weddington Writing Prize for New Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights Law.

Call for Submissions: 2016 Sarah Weddington Writing Prize

Law Students for Reproductive Justice, in collaboration with the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at Berkeley Law, is pleased to announce the Call for Submissions for the eleventh annual Sarah Weddington Writing Prize for New Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights.

This year, the Sarah Wedding prize will have the suggested theme of "Restoring Public Insurance Coverage for Abortion," but will also be open to fresh student scholarship exploring a wide range of issues that affect reproductive health, rights, and justice in the U.S. For more information, please download the 2016 Call for Submissions. The deadline for submission is January 18, 2016.

Winning authors will receive cash prizes: $750 (1st place), $500 (2nd place), or $250 (3rd place) in addition to a copy of the newly released casebook, Murray and Luker's Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice. The first place winner will also have a chance at publication with the NYU Review of Law and Social Change.

2015 Prize Winners:

First Place: April Shaw, J.D. ('15 University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law) for "Racism, Sexism, and Abortion: How Race-Selective and Sex-Selective Bans on Abortion Make Visible the Color-Coded Dimensions of the Right to Abortion and the Deficiencies of Constitutional Protections for Women of Color", forthcoming in issue 40.3 of the NYU Review of Law & Social Change

Second Place: Alix Noureddine, J.D. ('14 Case Western Reserve University School of Law) for "Constitutionality of the Death Penalty for Fetal Homicide: Connecting Eighth Amendment Jurisprudence with Fourteenth Amendment Substantive Due Process"

Third Place: Eliza Duggan, J.D. candidate ('16 University of California Berkeley School of Law) for "A 'Velvet Hammer': Criminalizing Motherhood and New Maternalism"

Past Prize Winners:


First Place: Greer Donley, J.D. ('14 University of Michigan Law School) for "Encouraging Maternal Sacrifice: How Regulations Governing the Consumption of Pharmaceuticals in Pregnancy Prioritize Fetal Safety Over Maternal Health and Autonomy" (Issue 39.1 of the NYU Review of Law & Social Change)

Tied for Second Place:

Amy Krupinski, J.D. ('14 William Mitchell College of Law) for "Most Urgent Need: Indian Health Service's Policies Toward Native Women's Reproductive Health Care - Availability of Emergency Contraception"

Rachel Suppé, J.D. ('14 American University, Washington College of Law) for "A Right in Theory but Not in Practice: Voter Discrimination and TRAP Laws as Barriers to the Exercising of a Constitutional Right"

Third Place: Alyson Schwartz, J.D. candidate ('15 Indiana University Maurer School of Law) for "Dangerous or Just Pregnant? How Sanism & Biases Infect the Dangerousness Determination in the Civil Commitment of Pregnant Women"


Theme:"Economic (In)Justice of Reproductive Regulation"

First place: Kathryn Benedict, J.D. (’14 Columbia Law School) for “When Might Does Not Create Religious Rights: For-Profit Corporations' Employees and the Contraceptive Coverage Mandate” (published by the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, Volume 26, No. 1)

Second place: Katherine Jacob, J.D. (’12 Case Western Reserve University School of Law) for "Laying in [Wait]: Pregnancy Support Lessons from the Brehon Laws”

Third place: Laurah Samuels, J.D. (’13 Columbia Law School) for “Mifepristone Protocol Legislation: The Anti-choice Movement's Disingenuous Method of Attack on the Reproductive Rights of Women and How Courts Should Respond” (published by the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, Volume 26, No.2)

Honorable mention: Lauren Goldsmith, J.D. (’13 University of California, Berkeley School of Law) for “Redefining Viability: Why the State Must Ensure Viable Alternatives to Pregnancy and Motherhood” (published by the Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender, Volume 20)


Theme: "Legislating Stereotypes: Reproductive Rights Rollback in the States."

First Place: Sarah Primrose, J.D. ('12, Michigan State University College of Law) for “The Attack on Planned Parenthood: A Historical Analysis” (published by the UCLA Women's Law Journal, Volume 19, Issue 2)

Second Place: Chad Brooker, J.D. ('13, University of Maryland School of Law) for "Making Contraception Easier to Swallow: Background and Religious Challenges to the HHS Rule Mandating Coverage of Contraceptives”

Third Place: Gina Gribow, J.D. ('13, University of California Hastings College of the Law) for “An Assessment of California's Legislation Regarding Shackling Prohibitions for Incarcerated Pregnant Women”


Theme: “Beyond the Books: Realizing Reproductive Rights in Real Lives.”

First Place: Allison Hartry, J.D. ('12, UC Berkeley School of Law) for “Birthright Justice: Birthright Citizenship and Reproductive Justice in Immigration Detention Centers” (published in the NYU Review of Law & Social Change, Volume 36, Issue 1)

Second Place: Elizabeth J. Chen, J.D. ('12, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law) for "Equal Protection: Why the HPV Vaccine Should be Mandated for Both Boys and Girls”

Third Place: Sarah Coburn, J.D. ('11, Temple University Beasley School of Law) for “Obstructed Birth: Racism in Midwifery Regulation, the Emergence of the Certified Professional Midwife and the Need for Movement Building”


Theme: “Reproductive Rights as Human Rights.”

First Place: Hilary P. Hammell, J.D. ('12, University of Washington School of Law) for ”Is the Right to Health a Necessary Precondition for Gender Equality?”

Second Place: Sara Wilkinson, J.D. ('10, University of Minnesota Law School) for ”Redefining ‘Life’ in the Mexican Abortion Debate”

Third Place: Heidi Bramson, J.D., MPH ('11, Rutgers School of Law) “Gender-Rating in the United States Health Insurance Industry: A Human Rights Violation “


Theme: “Seeking Reproductive Justice in All Places for All People”

First Place: Joanna Nairn, J.D. ('09, Harvard Law School) for "Is There a Right to Have Children? Substantive Due Process and Probation Conditions that Restrict Reproductive Rights"

Second Place: Kelsey Collier-Wise, J.D. ('10, University of South Dakota School of Law) for "Bearing Witness: Looking for Remedies for Forced Sterilization of Indigenous Women "





Repossess Reproductive Justice


Take a look at our past newsletters for more information on LSRJ programming, staff comings and goings, spotlights on our chapters and alumni, and more!