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Professor Wins Inaugural Ephraim Prize in Law and Economics

School of Law professor Megan Stevenson, an economist and criminal justice scholar, has won the inaugural Donald M. Ephraim Prize in Law and Economics.

Sponsored by the University of Chicago Law School, the award recognizes an early-career scholar whose work has advanced knowledge in the field and whose intellectual impact has the potential to reach the legal academy, legal profession and beyond, according to the school. The prize includes a $30,000 cash award.

Stevenson will be invited to present research at Chicago in the spring and during the 2023-24 academic year. Stevenson will receive the prize at a recognition event in Chicago.

“I am exceptionally pleased that our respected selection committee chose professor Stevenson, a distinguished and extensively published academic, for the inaugural award,” Ephraim said.

Stevenson has conducted empirical research in criminal justice reform, including bail, risk assessment, misdemeanors and juvenile justice. She also serves on the American Law and Economics Association board of directors. Her research on bail was cited extensively in a landmark federal civil rights decision, O’Donnell v. Harris County, which reformed the bail system in that part of Texas.

In 2022, Stevenson and her team received a $200,000 grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to study the hidden long-term effects of incarceration. She was the 2019 winner of the Oliver E. Williamson prize for best article published in the Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization within the previous three years.

In other Law School honors:

• The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, a national student organization, named law professor Sarah Shalf its Faculty Advisor of the Year. Shalf directs UVA Law’s Community Solutions Clinic and serves as the school’s director of clinical programs.

UVA’s student chapter also received a Programming Award, given to the “strongest” American Constitution Society chapters that have conducted at least 18 substantive and compelling events during the school year, according to the society.

Shalf and the chapter were honored at the American Constitution Society National Convention in May.

An episode of the “HISTORY This Week” podcast featuring law professor Cynthia Nicoletti, a legal historian, was nominated for a Webby Award for Featured Guest Podcasts. The episode, “Reconstruction I: Secession on Trial,” explores the capture and prosecution of Confederate President Jefferson Davis after the Civil War. The award recognizes a single podcast episode showcasing a guest or special co-host.

Nicoletti’s book, “Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis,” won the 2018 Cromwell Book Prize.


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