Students Garner Esteemed Honors for Constitutional Scholarship

April 23, 2024

Three students from the University of North Carolina School of Law received prestigious recognition for their constitutional law scholarship. 

3L Lauren Hubbard won the Albert S. Pegram International Law Writing Award from the New York State Bar Association for her paper “Judicial Enforcement of Oregon’s New Constitutional Right to Affordable Health Care.”

“I am appreciative of the opportunities that Carolina  Law and my professors have provided me with over the past three years — I could not have won this award without the support of Professor Holning Lau who encouraged me to submit my piece,” Hubbard said. “I chose to write on this topic because as states are amending their constitutions to add socio-economic rights, such as the right to affordable health care, courts must fulfill those promises. I hope my piece can drive further discourse about the obligation of states to ensure that all its residents have access to affordable health care.”

Lauren Hubbard ’24

This marks the second straight year a Carolina Law comparative constitutional law seminar paper has won the award, with last year’s honoree being Ian Maddox ’23. The New York International Law Review published Hubbard’s piece, and the Association presented her with the award in February.

The Connecticut Journal of International Law offered to publish Avery Aulds’s ’23 paper “Freedom of Movement: How the Constitutional Right to Asylum Paired with the Right to Life & the Right to a Healthy Environment Opens the Door for Environmental Migrants.” Aulds’s interdisciplinary scholarship stems from a deep passion for human rights advocacy.

Ava Aulds ’24

“This paper is my introduction into this space, and it has given me a chance to explore what parts of human rights advocacy I am most interested in,” she said. The journal will feature her work this spring.

Additionally, the American Society of Comparative Law gave Honorable Mention recognition to 3L Emily Kocher’s  paper “If Germans Played American Football: Understanding the U.S. Case of Kennedy v. Bremerton School District through the Lens of German Jurisprudence.” The Society announced Kocher’s achievement at its annual meeting last October.

The accomplishments of Hubbard, Aulds, and Kocher showcase the thriving scholarly community at Carolina Law. Here, professors like Lau encourage students to tackle complex constitutional questions from a global perspective, leading to sharp analysis, and as a result, leaves students prepared to contribute significantly to critical legal discourse.