Thursday, September 29, 2016
Mel Weresh Named as the 2017 Recipient of the Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing
The Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute are proud to announce that Professor Mel Weresh of Drake University Law School is the winner of the 2017 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing.
This Blackwell Award is one of the most prestigious awards in legal writing. The Boards of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) jointly created this distinguished award to honor the life of Thomas Blackwell, a professor at Appalachian Law School who was one of three people murdered at the law school in 2002 by a deranged student. To honor Tom's memory and his commitment to legal writing education, the award is presented annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to improve the field of legal writing by demonstrating:
- an ability to nurture and motivate students to excellence;
- a willingness to help other legal writing educators improve their teaching skills or their legal writing programs; and
- an ability to create and integrate new ideas for teaching and motivating legal writing educators and students.
Mel Weresh is a professor of law and Director of the Legal Writing Program at Drake University Law School. She has always been known by readers of this blog as a "Legal Writing Superstar." She is a past president of the Legal Writing Institute and a Past Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Teaching Methods.
She is also the 2009 winner of the Warren E. Burger Prize of the American Inns of Court, a writing competition designed to promote scholarship in the areas of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence.
Her publications include Iowa Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press, 2d ed. 2016) and Legal Writing: Ethical and Professional Considerations (also published now by Carolina Academic Press).
The Blackwell Award Reception will be held during the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law School, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, from 8 to 10 p.m.
The previous winners of the Blackwell award are:
- 2016 - Coleen Miller Barger, University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law
- 2015 - Helene Shapo, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
- 2014 - Jan Levine, Duquesne University School of Law
- 2013 - Judy Stinson, Arizona State University
- 2012 - Suzanne Rowe, University of Oregon
- 2011 - Carol McCrehan Parker, University of Tennessee
- 2010 - Steve Johansen, Lewis & Clark
- 2009 - Linda Edwards, Mercer Law
- 2008 - Diana Pratt, Wayne State
- 2007 - Louis Sirico, Villanova Law School
- 2006 - Mary Beth Beazley, Ohio State
- 2005 - Ralph Brill, Chicago-Kent
- 2004 - Pam Lysaght, Detroit Mercy
- 2003 - Richard K. Neumann, Hofstra University
"How many legal writing professors does it take to change a lightbulb?" Answer: "We wish that we had the resources to change the lightbulb."
Hat tips to ALWD President Wanda M. Temm (University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law) and LWI Presdient Kim D. Chanbonpin (The John Marshall Law School). And congratulations to Professor Weresh!