On December 18, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) announced that two NYU Law professors are among the 2024 winners of the annual awards bestowed by AALS sections. Harry First, Charles L. Denison Professor of Law Emeritus, has received the Section on Antitrust and Economic Regulation Lifetime Achievement Award. Richard Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, is the winner of the John Hart Ely Prize in the Law of Democracy.
The AALS’s 107 sections focus on a range of academic fields and areas of interest. Winners of these awards “have been recognized by their sections for exceptional achievement in legal scholarship, teaching, mentorship, and service,” said AALS President Mark Alexander, professor of law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, in a statement announcing the awards.
A specialist in antitrust and business crime, First is the co-author of the casebook Free Enterprise and Economic Organization: Antitrust and a casebook on regulated industries, and is the author of a casebook on business crime. He was twice a Fulbright Research Fellow in Japan and taught antitrust as an adjunct professor at the University of Tokyo. First’s most recent scholarly work on antitrust enforcement and theory includes The Microsoft Antitrust Cases: Competition Policy for the Twenty-first Century (with Andrew I. Gavil); Exploitative Abuses of Intellectual Property Rights in The Cambridge Handbook of Antitrust, Intellectual Property, and High Tech; and Your Money and Your Life: The Export of U.S. Antitrust Remedies in Global Competition Law and Economics. His article “Antitrust’s Democracy Deficit” was named best general antitrust academic article in the Institute of Competition Law’s 2014 Antitrust Writing Awards.
First is a contributing editor of the Antitrust Law Journal, foreign antitrust editor of the Antitrust Bulletin, a member of the executive committee of the Antitrust Section of the New York State Bar Association, and a member of the advisory board and a senior fellow of the American Antitrust Institute. In receiving the antitrust section’s Lifetime Achievement Award, First joins his colleague Eleanor Fox, Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Trade Regulation Emerita, who was awarded the honor in 2017.
The John Hart Ely Prize is awarded annually to a scholar for “extraordinary lifetime contributions to the study of election law and the law of democracy in the United States,” according to the AALS website. A leading scholar of constitutional law and a specialist in legal issues concerning democracy, Pildes has helped create the law of democracy as a field of study through dozens of articles and his co-authored casebook The Law of Democracy. His work systematically explores legal and policy issues concerning the structure of democratic elections and institutions, such as the role of money in politics, the design of election districts, the regulation of political parties, the structure of voting systems, the representation of minority interests in democratic institutions, and similar issues. He has written on the rise of political polarization in the United States, the transformation of the presidential nominations process, the Voting Rights Act, the dysfunction of America’s political processes, the role of the Supreme Court in overseeing US democracy, and the powers of the president and Congress.
In addition, Pildes has written on national security law, the design of the regulatory state, and American constitutional history and theory. In 2021, he served on the President’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. As a lawyer, Pildes has successfully argued voting-rights and election law cases before the US Supreme Court and federal appellate courts. He writes frequently as a commentator for national publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. He has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute, and has also received recognition as a Guggenheim Fellow and a Carnegie Scholar.
Posted January 11, 2024