An important part of our mission is to recognize distinguished accomplishments in education law. This page describes our awards and past recipients. We welcome nominations and invite ELA members to get involved in committees. The Awards Committee provides overall management of the Education Law Association awards process and coordination among its several subcommittees responsible for managing nominations and selecting recipients of each of the following awards.
Dissertation of the Year
The Joseph C. Beckham Award recognizes exemplary dissertations by doctoral students on topics related to education law. The award is named after Joseph C. Beckham, Former President of the Education Law Association (1991), and Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University.
Education Law Writing
The George Jay Joseph Education Law Writing Award generates increased interest in and recognition of education law among not only graduate students in education schools but also, in particular, to students in law schools. The award is named for the late George Jay Joseph, a Baltimore businessman who founded two legal publishing companies and the Journal of Law and Education.
Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law
This award is presented annually in recognition of an outstanding article, book, book chapter, or other form of scholarly legal writing in the field of Education Law. The award is named after the late Steven S. Goldberg, an ELA member, a professor of education, and the Educational Leadership Program Coordinator at Arcadia University, whose gift funded the award.
Outstanding Appellate Brief
This award recognizes outstanding brief writing in an appellate court in a case concerning education law. The award is named after August W. Steinbhilber, Jr. (1932-2013), who, as EducationWeek reports, “helped shape education policy as the top federal lobbyist and later the general counsel of the National School Boards Association.” Gus, as he was fondly known, served as the former president of the Education Law Association in 1977.
The M.A. McGhehey Award recognizes outstanding service in the field of education law and to the Education Law Association. The award is named after Marion A. McGhehy (1921-1982) who served as president in 1961, and then as executive director from 1962 to 1982 of ELA in its original incarnation as the National Organization on Legal Problems in Education (NOLPE), and who also led both the Indiana School Boards Association and the Kansas Association of School Boards.