The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction was created by the University of Alabama School of Law and co-sponsored by the ABA Journal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mocking Bird.” Speaking at an event announcing the prize in 2010, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder described Lee’s novel as a book about the devastating impacts of injustice on the individual but also a book about courage.

The Harper Lee Prize was awarded annually between 2011 and 2020 to a published work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change. Gathered here are the annual submissions and winners for each year of the prize’s existence.

Winners of the Prize:

  • 2011 John Grisham, The Confession
  • 2012 Michael Connelly, The Fifth Witness
  • 2013 Paul Goldstein, Havana Requiem
  • 2014 John Grisham, Sycamore Row
  • 2015 Deborah Johnson, The Secret of Magic
  • 2016 Attica Locke, Pleasantville
  • 2017 James Grippando, Gone Again
  • 2018 C.E. Tobisman, Proof
  • 2019 Sharon Bala, The Boat People
  • 2020 Victor Methos, The Hallows


Browse the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction Collections:

Harper Lee Prize Books 2011