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Participatory Law Fund

Apply by Dec. 15, 2023

Participatory Law FundThe Participatory Law Fund (PLF) is a fund devoted to supporting the production of an emergent genre of legal scholarship called “participatory law scholarship” or PLS. As defined in Participatory Law Scholarship (forthcoming in the Columbia Law Review), PLS is legal scholarship written in collaboration with authors who have no formal training in the law, but rather expertise in its function and disfunction through lived experience. This approach to legal scholarship is grounded in the belief that the experience of being marginalized by the law uniquely positions someone to critique it.

The idea for PLS emerged from the experience of co-authoring a law review article with two activists who were sentenced to life without parole over three decades ago called Redeeming Justice, 116 NW. U. L. REV. 315 (2021), which argued for a right to redemption and was awarded the 2022 Law and Society Association (LSA) Article Prize, one of the most prominent international awards for socio-legal scholarship.

The PLF provides awards to the co-authors of PLS who have no formal legal training and are not academics, but have expertise in law’s injustice through lived experience, in recognition of their contributions to this emerging genre of scholarship. Awards will be made in the amounts of $4,000 for full length articles (over 20,000 words) and $2,000 for essays (between 10,000 words and 20,000 words). Awards may be used by award recipients for research activities, professional conference attendance, travel costs, or other expenses concerning the production and promotion of legal articles or papers.

How to Apply

The award applications will be due on Friday, December 15, 2023. The Selection Committee will announce the recipients of the awards in February 2024 and the funds will be awarded upon completion of the piece.

To apply, please provide the following:

  • Abstract of piece (max 500 words)
  • Estimated length of piece and date of completion
  • Co-authors’ biographies (max 400 words)
  • An explanation of why you consider this piece to be part of the “participatory law scholarship” movement (max 300 words)

Go to the Application

Contact Us

Please direct any questions regarding the PLF awards to