The Standing Committee honors the contribution of exceptional practitioners of national security law. We also recognize the written work of law students beginning their study of the field.

Changing the field of National Security Law

Changing the field of National Security Law

The Leibman Award

Judge William Sessions (center) accepts the Morris I. Leibman Award, recognizing his contribution to the field of national security law. Pictured with James McPherson and Harvey Rishikof.

Law Student Writing Competition

The Standing Committee on Law and National Security’s activities assist policymakers, educate lawyers, the media and the public, and enable the Committee to make recommendations and provide advice on a variety of national security law subjects.  

In furtherance of this mission the Standing Committee holds an annual Law Student Writing Competition.

The winning essay receives a cash prize of $500 and free registration to the Committee's Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference to be held in Washington, DC. In addition to registration for the conference, the prize will include reimbursement for coach travel and one night’s lodging. Additionally, the essay will be published by the Standing Committee. Winner must be present at the conference to receive the award.

The Law Student Writing Competition is closed for submissions at this time.

The Morris I. Leibman Award in Law and National Security

The Morris I. Leibman Award in Law and National Security, established by the Standing Committee on Law and National Security in 1997, honors the memory of Morris I. Leibman, a distinguished lawyer, co-founder of the Standing Committee, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Award recognizes the examples of Mr. Leibman’s lifelong dedication to the rule of law, leadership in the field of law and national security affairs, and continuing support for those engaged in the field.

Persons eligible for the Award must have demonstrated a sustained commitment to and made exceptional contributions to the field of law and national security; whether through government service, legal scholarship or otherwise, their professional accomplishments must have notably benefitted or advanced the field of law and national security affairs.

Nomination Criteria and Application Requirements

Liebman Award Recipients

The Award was presented for the first time in the Fall of 1997, posthumously to John H. McNeill (Department of Defense) at the Committee’s “Annual Review of the field of National Security Law” Conference. It has been awarded seven times.


John H. McNeill

U.S. Department of Defense


Mark Richard and Judge Robinson Everett

U.S. Department of Justice (Richard) and Duke University School of Law (Everett)


Dan McMichael

Founding Associate of the Committee


Howard Levie

Adjunct Professor, Naval War College


Richard Friedman

Senior Fellow, Urban and National Security Affairs, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs


John Norton Moore

Walter L. Johnson Professor of Law and Director, Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia School of Law


The Honorable William S. Sessions

Founding Member, The Constitution Project's Task Force on Detainee Treatment


The Honorable Robert S. Mueller III

Partner, WilmerHale, Former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation