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May 5, 2009

Nussbaum receives jurisprudence prize for life's work

University of Chicago Law professor Martha Nussbaum received the 2009 Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence, presented by the American Philosophical Society. Her unique approach to jurisprudence, which examines how capable people are of enjoying substantive freedoms, was cited as the reason for her selection.The second woman to win the award since its inception in 1888, Nussbaum is a notable recipient for approaching the study of law from a philosophical point of view, having never attended law school. The award was originally presented for a written work, but now serves as a lifetime achievement award for individuals who have significantly contributed to the theory and philosophy of law. Including Nussbaum, 22 prizes have been awarded."I think it's very important to establish that law is now interdisciplinary," Nussbaum said in a University press release, "not only because of the outstanding contributions made by the law-and-economics movement, but also because of the input of the philosophers." Nussbaum donated the $20,000 prize to the Law School, which will create summer internships for students to work on human rights issues in conjunction with legal organizations abroad.The award was last given to Cass Sunstein, then a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School and now at Harvard, in 2007.