Grunin Prize for Law and Social Entrepreneurship

Lawyers play a critical role in designing, implementing, and advancing models by which economic and social activity are conducted globally. The Grunin Center administers the award of an annual Grunin Prize for Law and Social Entrepreneurship to recognize lawyers’ participation in the ways in which business is increasingly advancing the goals of sustainability and human development.

The Grunin Prize aims to reward the innovation, potential impact, and replicability and/or scalability of projects and solutions developed by lawyers to advance the fields of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

The Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship is made possible through a generous endowment from NYU School of Law graduates Jay Grunin ’67 and Linda Kalmanowitz Grunin ’67, and the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation. Jay and Linda have dedicated their philanthropic endeavors to investing in innovative projects that have measurable impacts creating meaningful, transformative change.

2021 Grunin Prize

The Grunin Center is now accepting applications for the 2021 Grunin Prize! See submission guidelines below and complete your submissions by January 31, 2021. For any questions or concerns related to the Grunin Prize, please contact the Grunin Center at

The 2020 Grunin Prize attracted numerous nominations from across the globe, which were representative of the extraordinary legal community of practice that is emerging in this field. Learn more about our 2020 finalists and winner here.

Why apply for the Grunin Prize? Grunin Prize finalists receive recognition from a global community of lawyers, academics, policymakers, and other impact professionals. Finalists are invited to participate in the annual IILWG/Grunin Center conference to showcase their projects in front of hundreds of conference attendees. Past finalists and winners have also received media exposure. Check out the testimonials of prior Grunin Prize winners and finalists to learn more about what the Grunin Prize recognition has meant for them.


Eligibility Criteria

The Grunin Prize is open to individual lawyers or legal teams from across the globe. Practitioners, legal educators, policymakers, in-house counsel, and other legal teams that develop an innovative social enterprise or impact investment solution using existing law, legal education, or new legal structures are eligible to apply. For a PDF version of the submission form, please check here.

• The Grunin Prize will recognize inputs, such as new uses of old laws or reframing of the conceptual framework surrounding the law, and outputs, such as the development of a new legal structure or organizational design.
• The nominated project must be completed or implemented on or before December 31, 2020. Only projects that have been completed or implemented within the past two years will be considered.
• Examples of the types of legal projects that may be submitted for consideration include: innovative financing, contracting or entity structure, enacted legislation or adopted model laws, or design of new legal courses or tools.

Qualifying projects will be evaluated against the following criteria: innovation, potential impact, and replicability and/or scalability.


• Applicants and nominators can submit more than one project for consideration. A separate submission form must be completed for each project.
• Applicants and nominators are welcome to resubmit a previously nominated project that did not receive the Grunin Prize.
• If nominating another party’s project, nominators must coordinate with nominees to ensure all required information is provided in the submission form.
• Supplemental materials will not be accepted. However, as needed, applicants may be asked to provide additional information for consideration by the judging panel.
• Once notified, finalists will be expected to (i) participate in an interview with the judging panel and (ii) liaise with the Grunin Center to coordinate a communications plan and develop a Grunin Prize video.


January 31, 2021: Deadline to complete submission forms.
May 2021: Finalists announced.
June 7, 2021: Finalists will meet with the judging panel.

The 2021 Grunin Prize will be awarded at the IILWG/Grunin Center Annual Conference on Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing, to be held remotely on June 8-9 2021.