Animal Law

Animal Law

Animal Law

Farm with cows

Bob Barker Prize in Animal Law, Ethics and Rights Student Writing Competition  

1ST PLACE — $2,500 

The writing competition is designed to encourage students interested in all or any of the areas of animal law, rights and ethics to engage in scholarly endeavors involving those subject matters.

Who Is Eligible

Entrants must be currently enrolled, or have received their degree in 2019-20, in a graduate degree program at any of the University of Virginia schools. Selected undergraduates may enter with faculty recommendation.

Paper Requirements

Papers must contain original work done exclusively by a single author.

Submissions shall be typewritten, double-spaced on 8½ x 11 inch paper.  We will accept electronic submissions as e-mail attachments; these must be Word documents, print-outs of which should conform to all other paper requirements. Papers shall not exceed 40 pages in length, including appendices (if any) and footnotes, which may be single-spaced. Submissions of papers greater than 40 pages will not be accepted. Papers shall include footnotes, not endnotes. The citation format should conform to that used commonly in the discipline of the student. Text type shall be in 12-pt. Times Roman font; footnotes shall be in 10-pt. Times Roman font. Papers shall have one-inch margins (right, left, top, and bottom). Noncompliance with these requirements will affect evaluation and may result in disqualification. Please include the following information on the cover sheet of the paper:

  • Entrant’s full name, address (mail and e-mail), and telephone number(s)
  • Name of school and year of study
  • Date of submission of paper
  • Do not include personal identifiers in the paper itself

Papers must be received no later than May 13, 2022.  Papers must be submitted only via email to  Papers transmitted or sent in any other form will not be considered.


Papers should provide an in-depth analysis of a current issue relevant to animal law, rights and/or ethics. Examples of suitable topics include animal cruelty law, animal agricultural regulation, endangered species, trust law for animals, or philosophical or religious underpinnings of animal rights or welfare. We welcome the submission of papers prepared for course work, but entrants must pay attention to competition details and edit such papers accordingly.


A committee with relevant expertise will judge the papers. All points of view are welcome. The following factors will be considered: thoroughness and depth of analysis, originality and difficulty of topic, discussion of conclusions and future impact, quality of research, writing style, form and quality of citations, and conformity with rules of competition.  The decision of the judges is final.

Past Winners

Sami Ghubril, “Saving the Horseshoe Crab: The Case for the Oft-Forgotten, Critically Important Living Fossil”

Related Story:
Alum’s Paper on Horseshoe Crab Nabs Barker Prize

Colin Giuseppe Cox, “Advocating for Market Bears and Bulls … and the Rest of Wall Street’s Animals:A Functional Analysis of SEC Rule 14a-8 Shareholder Proposals in Animal Advocacy”

Jennifer Davidson, “Justice For All?: The Shortcomings and Potentials of the Capabilities Approach for Protecting Animals”

Conor Remo Crawford, “Nutraceuticals in American Horseracing: Removing the Substantive Blinkers from National Racing Legislation”

Trevor Lovell, “The Transformative Potential for Rationalizing Animal Law”

Kate Dumeer, “I’m Taking the Dog! Pet Custody in Marital Disputes”

Michelle Carmon, “Federal Legislative Solutions to Welfare Concerns Regarding Egg-Laying Hens”

Sean Sullivan, "Empowering Market Regulation of Agricultural Animal Welfare through Product Labeling” 

Related Story: 
Student's Paper on Animal Welfare Labeling Wins Writing Competition

Cameron Jefferies, “Think Globally, Act Locally: How Innovative Domestic American Efforts to Reduce Shark Finning May Accomplish What the International Community Has Not”

Related Story: 
Students Tackle Shark Fin Ban Through Public Service Project

Veronica Bath, “A Tough Act to Swallow: The Chicago Ban on Foie Gras and Lessons Learned for Future Agricultural Cruelty Legislation”

Direct questions to:

Sami Ghubril