The J. Welles Henderson '43 Prize

Program Overview

Created by the late Federal Judge Arlin M. Adams in honor of his friend, J. Welles Henderson '43, this prize is awarded to the Princeton senior who has written the most outstanding thesis on a law-related subject.  An eligible thesis deals centrally with a question related to law, and may be from any discipline.  Among the topics welcome for consideration are legal history, law and public policy, law and literature, legal philosophy, sociology of law, law and politics, legal anthropology, science and law, psychology of law, law and religion, law and art, as well as law and economics.  The prize committee considers theses in international, comparative or American law, as well as theses primarily about the law of any country other than the U.S.  

Selection Process

Academic departments are invited to nominate excellent law-related theses for consideration. A faculty committee reads each submission and selects the winner. The winner receives a $1,000 prize.

2020 Co-winners

Grace Grady, Psychology, for the thesis, "Names, Accents, and Racial Linguistic Profiling: Linguistic and Racial Prejudice as Mechanisms of Discrimination Against Speakers of African American Vernacular English"

Benjamin Press, History, for the thesis, "'The Most Grieving Grievance That Ever Was': Billeting and the Democratization of England's Governance Crisis, 1625-1628"

Honorable MentionBesa Arnaout, French and Italian, for the thesis, "The Aporia of Asylum: A Legal and Philosophical Study of the Italian and French Refugee Protection Regulations in the ‘European Migrant Crisis’"


Previous Winners

2019 Co-winners

Madeline Gilson, Sociology, for the thesis, "'Fractured Families: A Qualitative Study of Deteriorating Kin Support among Parents in the Child Welfare System"

Yudith Pereira-Lopez, History, for the thesis, "'Silencing Rumor, Saving Face: The Rise and Fall of Jactitataion of Marriage in England, 1306-1986"

Honorable MentionAaron X. Sobel, Woodrow Wilson School, for the thesis, "Justice is Bound: examining how the Rule of Law Impacts the Contents of Anti-Terrorism Legislation"

2018 Co-winners

Catherine Anne Moran McDonough, Politics, for her thesis, "'De-Facto Disenfranchisement?' Examining The Effect of Pretrial Incarceration on Voter Turnout in Philadelphias"

Jackson Stanley Springer, History, for his thesis, "'Against the Order of Nature': Creating a Gay Identity Under the Law in Colorado, 1880-1914"

2017 Winner

Anna Lewandowska, Woodrow Wilson School, for the thesis, "International Pressures and Legal Development:  Influence of Investment and Trade Regimes on Property Rights in Non-OECD Countries"

2016 Winner

Matthew Kelly, Politics, for the thesis, "If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late:  Hospital Consolidation and Antitrust in the United States"

Honorable MentionChristine Smith, Department of Politics, for the thesis, "A God By Any Other Name:  Synthesizing Nondiscrimination and Substantive Liberty Interpretations of the Free Exercise Clause"

Honorable Mention:  Meiran Melissa Yin, Woodrow Wilson School, for the thesis, "Regime Type Effect on Adjudication Outcome at the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body"

2015 Winner

Bina Miriam Peltz, Politics,  for her thesis, "'Courting the Community:  Legal Transplants, Legal Innovation, and the Community Court Model"

2014 Co-winners

Anne Coventry, Classics, for her thesis, "'HÔS GUNAIKI GAMETÊ':The Regulation and Exchange of Women in Ptolemaic Egyptian Marriage Documents"

Alisa Tiwari, Woodrow Wilson School, for her thesis, "Watch Where You Walk: An Evaluation of Stop and Frisk in New York City"

2013 Winner

Aaron Nathan Glasserman, Near Eastern Studies, for his thesis, "Accidents of Institutionalization:  State Policy, Sectarian Interest and the China Islamic Association"

Honorable Mention: David Chen, Woodrow Wilson School, for her thesis, "Justice for Big Men:  Political Competition, Weak States and the Determinants of Judicial Independence in Sub-Saharan Africa"

2012 Winner

Carter Greenbaum, Sociology, for his thesis "From Stories to Monies:  Sociological Perspectives on the Meaning of Money in International Commercial Mediation"

2011 Co-winners

Hanna Jane Katz, Sociology, for her thesis, "Policing Adolescence: Personal Empowerment Among Youth Who are Stopped by the Police for Questioning"

Zayn Siddique, Woodrow Wilson School, for his thesis, "The Quiet Struggle: Judicial Independence and the Modern Middle East"

2010 Co-winners

Mark Zaichen Jia, Woodrow Wilson School, for his thesis, "Legal Aid and the Rule of Law in the People's Republic of China"

Daniel Eric Rauch, Department of Politics, for his thesis, "The New Supermajority: Judicial Review, Supermajority Voting Rules and the United States Supreme Court"

Honorable Mention: Molly Jeanne Alarcon, Woodrow Wilson School, for her thesis, "Arc of Justice: The Representation of Women and Minorities in the American Judiciary

2009 Winner

Andrew Paul Dixon, Department of Comparative Literature, for his thesis "Laws Before the Law, Laws Behind the Laws: Reflections on, Refractions of, Images of Law and Authority in Kafka"

Honorable Mention: Lucy Adeline Guarnera, Department of Psychology for her thesis, "Making the Crime Fit the Punishment: The Interplay of Punishment, Moral Outrage, and Legitimacy in the Context of Strict Liability Laws"

Honorable Mention: Jessica Lauren Frey, Department of Art and Archaeology, for her thesis, "Internationalism along the Nile: Egyptian Policy and Foreign Archaeology"

2008 Winner

Zachary Squire, Department of Classics, for his thesis "Property and Conception of the State in Cicero."

Honorable Mention: Jon di Cristina, Department of History, for his thesis, "Blood it Defileth the Land: Conservative Christianity and Capital Punishment in the United States."

2007 Winner

Elizabeth Skeen, Anthropology, for her thesis, "The Rape of a Trial: Jacob Zuma, AIDS, Conspiracy, and Tribalism in Neo-liberal Post-Apartheid South Africa." 

2006 Winners

Amaka Megwalu, Woodrow Wilson School, for her thesis "Looking Back, Moving Forward: The Gacaca Courts in Rwanda."

Jeremy Golubcow-Teglasi, Religion, for his thesis "Truth, Power and Coherence: Holmes and the Theology of Law."