Aspen Publishing

Leading Edge Prize for Educational Innovation

Announcing the winners of the Second Annual Leading Edge Prize for Educational Innovation:

The Underrepresented Experience: How Low Income and Minority Students Successfully Navigate the First Year of Law School
Carla D. Pratt, Dean and Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law
Camille deJorna, Deputy for Legal and Global Higher Education at the Law School Admission Council

This project seeks to better understand the Council on Legal Education's CLIC program, a group admission model for underrepresented students from non-traditional backgrounds that provides scholarship funding and continued academic support for students in the program. The team will interview CLIC students and use these interviews to analyze how navigating legal education with a small cohort of students with similar backgrounds contributed to their law school success.

How Can We Educate 2L and 3L Students to be Better Equipped for Practice? 
John Pierre, Chancellor of the Southern University Law Center
Hari Osofsky, Dean of Penn State Law

This project aims to educate, empower, and equip law students about the impact of artificial intelligence, legal process automation, data analytics, e-discovery, design thinking, and other technological innovations on the delivery of legal services. The team will develop a webinar series, "Tipping the Scales," to equip law students for a future in legal practice that is increasingly shaped by technology and innovation. This training will also help future lawyers address the access to justice gap and support diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

A Message About the Second Annual Leading Edge Prize for Educational Innovation from Aspen Publishing

Aspen Publishing launched the Leading Edge Prize for Educational Innovation in 2018 at its 5th Annual Leading Edge Conference, a gathering of legal education thought leaders. Established as an experiment in attendee-driven “unconferences,” Leading Edge has become a highly regarded gathering for the legal education community, with more than half of all law schools in the United States having participated. 

Aspen Publishing awarded $10,000 to two winning teams to help implement their visions of improving student outcomes or expanding educational opportunities for law students.

In 2019, the Second Annual Leading Edge Prize for Educational Innovation was announced with a new format: one prize would be awarded to a team consisting of at least two Leading Edge Conference attendees and teammates of their choice within the legal community, and the second prize would be awarded to a team of two or more faculty from any law schools in the United States.


  • In order to foster collaboration, each team must consist of one of the following combinations of team members: 
    • Prize Category 1: Team must include at least 2 Leading Edge members (individuals who have attended at least one Leading Edge event) involved from two different schools, along with any other individuals who have not attended the Leading Edge conference
    • Prize Category 2: Team must include two or more faculty members from two or more different law schools in the United States 
  • Project goal must be to either improve learning outcomes or to open up new avenues for educating law students
  • Project proposal is due by August 15, 2019
  • Finalists must make themselves available for a 1 hour call to discuss their proposal in August or September

Judging Criteria

A panel of Aspen Publishing staff and industry experts will be judging the submissions with the following criteria in mind:

  • Actionability: Projects with the potential for more immediate implementation will be ranked higher.
  • Scalability: Projects with the potential for more widespread impact will be ranked higher.
  • Impact: Projects for which the prize allotment has the potential to more directly influence the feasibility and outcome of the project will be ranked higher.

Selecting the Winners

  • Up to one team from each prize category will be selected as a prize winner. Each winning team will receive $10,000 to be used for implementing the project discussed within their proposal.
  • Winners will be selected by a committee made up of Aspen Publishing staff and industry experts.
  • Aspen Publishing reserves the right not to select a prize winner based on the quantity and quality of the overall applicant pool.

Submissions are closed for the Second Annual Leading Edge Prize for Educational Innovation.

2018 Leading Edge Prize Winners

The Pathways Project: Connecting Ambition with Opportunity for Underrepresented Law Students

Proboknow and Lowboknow: Expanding Access to Justice and Practical Legal Training

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