The J. Wells Henderson Prize '43 for the Best Senior Thesis in Law is awarded each year to the graduating senior who has written the best senior thesis in the field of legal studies. It is a university-wide prize established to honor Mr. Henderson, a distinguished alumnus and lawyer. The prize can be awarded to a senior thesis in any department, as it is a university-wide prize.
The winner of the Henderson Prize this year is Carter Greenbaum, for his senior thesis in sociology called "From Stories to Monies: Sociological Perspectives on the Meaning of Money in International Commercial Mediation."
Professor Scheppele writes, "Carter's thesis makes a major contribution to socio-legal studies, focusing on how mediators get parties to agree to settle their disputes. The thesis is based on interviews with more than 100 mediators in multiple countries and two years of observations of mediations large and small. As Carter shows, successful mediators move the disputing parties away from agreeing on a common narrative account of what happened and toward a common dollar amount that does not require agreement about what the money means. Because money can be marked as significant in different ways, a common dollar figure is consistent with different stories told by the different sides about what happened and who is to blame. The result is that disputants enter mediation with different accounts in words and leave mediation with a common account in numbers – which are much less fixed in social meaning than the words would be. Carter's thesis makes an important contribution to academic literatures in sociology of law and economic sociology, and provides the best account in the academic literature about how mediation works."
LAPA is proud to award the 2012 Henderson Prize to Carter Greenbaum.