ABA Recognizes Laura Stanley with Student Essay Award

December 19, 2022
Laura Stanley: Supervising Guantanamo Tribunal


On December 2, former RSC Senior Policy Analyst Laura Stanley was presented the American Bar Association’s Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Award at the ABA's Administrative Law Conference! The prestigious award recognizes the year’s best student essay in administrative law. 

Laura's essay, Supervising the Guantanamo Tribunal Supervisor After Arthrex, examines the exceptional system of executive oversight in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Arthrex, Inc. The paper posits that the courts may begin to play a greater role in scrutinizing congressional statutes that shield agency adjudicators from presidential control. 

“It was such an honor to receive the award,” Laura noted. “I enjoyed attending the annual ABA Administrative Law Conference during law school. The conference introduced me to some of the most interesting scholars in administrative law and helped me stay informed on current debates in the field. I started following the research of scholars who spoke at the conference, many of whom inspired my research in one way or another.” 

“I was particularly interested in writing on the Appointments Clause because it combines my interest in separation of powers issues with my passion for administrative law. I was inspired to work on this topic after taking an administrative law course with RSC Scholar and GW Law Professor Richard Pierce, and a constitutional law course with Judge Gregory Maggs.” 

We first met Laura when she was an intern with RSC during college in the summer of 2012. Since then, she earned a master’s degree in economics, worked as an economist at EPA for nearly five years, and pursued her law degree at GW part-time. In 2019, she rejoined the Center as a full-time senior policy analyst while she completed her JD, graduating in the top 10 percent of her class last May. In August, she began a one-year clerkship on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and next year, she will clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

Laura describes her experience at the RSC as especially important for finding her future path. “The Center changed the trajectory of my career. Professor Susan Dudley first inspired my interest in regulatory policy when I was an undergraduate student, and she supported my career in benefit-cost analysis and environmental regulation. When I realized that I wanted to study administrative law, the Center gave me the support I needed to actualize my research goals.” 

“When I was an analyst at the Center, I spent a lot of time writing with Professor Bridget Dooling about the regulation of the medications used to treat opioid use disorder. The regulations limit access to treatment for many people, and the opioid epidemic is only getting worse. I was grateful for my time at the Center because in addition to doing research on administrative law theory, I got to do applied research on regulatory issues that are so important in our daily lives.” 

Colleagues at the Center have long been impressed with Laura’s dedication and her economic, analytic, and legal acumen. We will be keeping in touch as her career develops. The opportunity to help launch talented young professionals into positions of real-world impact is the best part of the work we do!

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