Alabama Law, ABA Journal Announce Finalists for Harper Lee Prize

May 15, 2018

The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have named the finalists for the 2018 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The three books chosen to compete for the prize are: “Exposed” by Lisa Scottoline, “Proof” by C.E. Tobisman and “Testimony” by Scott Turow.

“The winnowing committee has chosen three great novels that you can add to your summer reading list, all written by lawyers and with timely topics,” said Molly McDonough, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal. “This year’s grouping includes drama and intrigue surrounding international justice, elder law, legal ethics and protections for people with disabilities. As legal journalists we see the essential role of lawyers in the real world and think now, more than ever, it’s important to have genuine and inspiring depictions of their work in pop culture.”

The prize, authorized by the late Ms. Lee, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

Eight years ago, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and to honor former Alabama law student and author Harper Lee, The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal partnered to create The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

There were 27 entries for the Prize, and a team of reviewers chose three books for the Selection Committee’s consideration. The public is invited to cast votes on the ABA Journal website,, to help determine who the winning author will be.

The public will act as the fifth judge, contributing a vote equal in weight to the selection committee members. To vote, visit:

Voting is open until June 30 at 11:59 p.m. Central.

The 2018 prize will be awarded at the Library of Congress in conjunction with National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced prior to the ceremony and will receive a copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird” signed by Harper Lee.

A distinguished panel of judges will select the 2018 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

They are: Dr. Hilary Green, Assistant Professor of History in the Department of Gender and Race Studies at The University of Alabama; Jini Koh, Attorney and University of Alabama School of Law Graduate; Tony Mauro, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for and The National Law Journal; and Sena Jeter Naslund, Author, Co-founder and former Program Director of the Spalding University MFA in Writing.