Law and Sustainability

Annual sustainability conference

The Program on Law and Sustainability at ASU Law launched the annual Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators in May 2015. This innovative conference is a national event hosted each spring for legal academics researching in environmental sustainability-related areas. Roughly 50 professors from law schools throughout North America convene to present their most current research. At the conference, the program also awards the newest winner of the Morrison Prize Contest—an annual contest that awards a $10,000 cash prize to the author(s) of the most influential sustainability-related law review article published in the previous year.

Annual Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators

This ambitious conference is the program’s signature contribution to the worldwide sustainability movement—a movement whose influence continues to expand throughout legal academia. The conference offers a unique forum for subject matter areas pertaining to environmental sustainability, including but not limited to:

  • Climate Change
  • Energy Law
  • Water Law and Policy
  • Environmental Law and Sustainability
  • Sustainability Policy and Natural Resources
  • Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Sustainable Development
  • Disaster Law
  • Technological advancements have dramatically improved daily life across the world. Unfortunately, many of these modern conveniences also deplete or alter the planet’s natural resources in ways that could significantly harm future generations. Transitioning cities, nations, and the world toward more environmentally sustainable living has thus emerged as one of humankind’s greatest twenty-first century challenges. Billions of dollars are invested annually into scientific and engineering research aimed at improving the environmental sustainability of modern economies, but far fewer resources are devoted to the development of creative policy strategies and legal structures tailored to support valuable sustainability innovations.

    By providing this forum, the conference aims to engender greater scholarly discourse on these imperative issues and to ultimately move the needle in humankind’s relentless pursuit of a more ecologically sustainable society.

    The Morrison Prize Contest

    The Morrison Prize is a $10,000 cash prize awarded annually to the author(s) of the most impactful sustainability-related legal academic paper published in North America during the previous year. The prize’s name honors Richard N. Morrison, an influential Arizona lawyer and philanthropist.

    All entries undergo independent review and scoring by a diverse group of full-time law professors who teach in environmental sustainability-related areas at North American law schools. Thank you to the following professors who have previously served as contest judges:

    • Karen Bradshaw (Arizona State University)
    • Vanessa Casado-Perez (Texas A & M)
    • Robin Craig (University of Utah)
    • John Dernbach (Widener)
    • Bruce Huber (Notre Dame)
    • Blake Hudson (Houston)
    • Alexandra Klass (Minnesota)
    • Sanne Knudsen (University of Washington)
    • John Nolon (Pace University)
    • Dan Tarlock (Chicago-Kent)
    • Hannah Wiseman (Florida State University)
    • Michael Wolf (University of Florida)

    For more information about the conference, the Morrison Prize Contest, or to add your name to the e-mail distribution list to receive the call for presentation and panel proposals, please contact Lauren Burkhart at