Saturday, October 3, 2009

Teresa Godwin Phelps Selected for LWI Courage Award

  Phelps, Teresa Godwin     The LWI Award Committee announced that the recipient of the 2009 Terri LeClercq Courage Award is Teresa Godwin Phelps of the American University Washington College of Law.  LWI’s Board of Directors confers this award annually on an LWI member who has demonstrated courage by doing, despite fear, something that most people would not do.  The courage might have been personal (such as doing something extraordinary that reflects a commitment to the profession); moral (such as standing up to authority for a principled reason); or civil (such as doing something for the world at large, despite personal adversity or other circumstances).  Terry Phelps was found to have demonstrated extraordinary courage in all three categories.


    Terry was personally courageous in helping to found our discipline, having helped create the Legal Writing Institute and having written a landmark article called The New Legal Rhetoric, which in 1986 shaped the way many professors approached legal writing.  She demonstrated moral courage by standing up to a former dean and refusing to take part in a plan to compromise that law school’s legal writing program.  Rather than oversee the reduced effectiveness of the instruction, Terry declined to follow orders and left her position, undertaking a commute to a distant city.  She has also demonstrated civil courage by working in the field of international human rights.  Her book, Shattered Voices: Language, Voice, and the Work of the Truth Commissions, is widely respected, and she has lectured all over the world, speaking out for human rights.


LeClercq, Terry     The LWI Award Committee thanks everyone who submitted nominations of other courageous and worthy colleagues, and it thanks Terri LeClercq (pictured at right)—a courageous individual in her own right—for establishing this award to allow the legal writing community an opportunity to remember, and be thankful, that we are part of a courageous and wonderful community.


    The LWI Awards Committee is chaired by Susan Thrower and includes Leah Christensen, Kirsten Davis, Sonia Bychkov Green, Hether Macfarlane, Lou Sirico, and Christopher Wren.


Other legal writing awards announced this week include Joe Kimble, who was announced as the winner of the AALS Legal Writing Section Award that will be presented in January 2009 at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans.  Click here to read more about that award.


Hat tip to Susan Thrower


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