Public Contract




2020 Writing Competition Winners

Congratulations to our 2020 Public Contract Law Journal writing competition winners!

Division I

  • 1st Place — Tanner Slaughter, George Washington University Law School
    Government Contracting and Emergency Powers in the Age of Government Shutdowns

  • 2nd Place — Spencer Lindsay,  George Washington University Law School
    Dangers From Within: Why A Federal Statute Is Necessary to Protect Military Members From Contractor Negligence Outside of Combat and Military Control.
  •  3rd Place — Aleksey House, George Washington University Law School
    The Price of A Cybersecurity Culture: How the CMMC Should Secure the Department of Defense’s Supply Chain Without Harming Small Businesses and Competition

Division II

  • 1st Place — Thomas Daley, DLA Piper
    Reassessing the Role of the Reilly's Wholesale Factors In Override Protests Following the Federal Circuit's Decision in Safeguard Base Operations

Public Contract Law Journal Writing Competition

Through our  annual writing competition, the PCL Section introduces itself to the next generation of public contract lawyers. In addition to cash awards, quality papers are considered for publication in the Public Contract Law Journal. Papers should address a topical issue of interest to the public contract and grant law community.

The competition is conducted in two divisions — law students and young lawyers/LL.M students.  Each division will be judged separately, and separate prizes will be awarded to the winner(s) of each division.

Qualifying entrants must be members in good standing of the ABA and Section of Public Contract Law. Membership information, including reduced rates for current law students, may be obtained by contacting the ABA Service Center at 800.285.2221 or visiting

The 2021 Writing Competition Rules will be posted late spring.

2020 Writing Competition Rules

Other ABA Awards

2021 National Award Opportunities from the
ABA Government & Public Sector Lawyers Division

Nominations now being accepted through Friday, April 9 for the following:

  • Outstanding Public Defender or Legal Aid Lawyer
  • Outstanding Performance or Service by a Government or Public Sector Law Office
  • Outstanding Service to the ABA

Learn how to submit a nomination for these awards.

PCL Section Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded Alan E. Peterson in recognition of over three decades of exceptional service to the legal profession, accounting community, the American Bar Association and the Section of Public Contract Law.

Public Contract Law Section Fellows' Spirit of Leadership Award

Public Contract Law Section Fellows’ Spirit of Leadership Award is to be given periodically by the Fellows to recognize a Public Contract Law Section member who has demonstrated significant leadership, the highest degree of professionalism, and a substantial, consistent and long‑term record of encouragement and support to others to become and remain active in the Section. It may also be given to an individual who has contributed exceptional service to the support, development, and implementation of programs to enhance participation and leadership development within the Section and the public contract community. This award is intended to support and encourage individual efforts to grow participation in the Section and develop leadership qualities in Section members and assure it is recognized that such efforts are core values of the Section.

The Section Fellows consists of past Section Chairs and Section members who have been elected to membership because of their distinguished service and significant contributions to public contract law and the American Bar Association.

Donald McL. Davidson Award

The Donald McL. Davidson Award is presented periodically to a member of the Section of Public Contract Law whose participation has been outstanding in the promotion of state and local procurement activities in the Section.

Mr. Davidson was a long-time member of the Section, holding offices as a Council Member, State and Local Division Chair, Chair of Region VIII, and Co-Chair of the Region Division. His tireless efforts on behalf of the Section resulted in increased membership and activities. Also, in spite of a severe physical disability as a result of polio, he led a vigorous professional life as a construction trial lawyer and was active in legal and civic affairs.

Allan J. Joseph Excellence in Leadership Award

The Allan J. Joseph Excellence in Leadership Award was established in 2012 to recognize a Section member or associate for exceptional individual effort and accomplishments and extraordinary contributions to the Section of Public Contract Law. Allan Joseph’s legal career, spanning over five decades, was devoted to the work of the Section of Public Contract Law and to the American Bar Association. This award is presented at the discretion of the Section officers and is presented on occasion and not on an annual basis.

Past Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award

Alan E. Peterson

Fellows Spirit of Leadership Award Recipients

Judge Ruth C. Burg
Alan E. Peterson
Allan J. Joseph
Marshall J. Doke, Jr.
Marilyn Neforas

Donald McL. Davidson Award Recipients

Thomas B. Treacy
Larry C. Ethridge
James M. Marsh
Paul F. Dauer
Margaret E. McConnell
Craig Othmer
Donald G. Featherstun
Dr. John B. Miller
Melissa J. Copeland
Gerard E. Wimberly, Jr.

Allan J. Joseph Excellence in Leadership Award

John S. Pachter
Marshall J. Doke, Jr.
Marilyn Neforas