Friday, March 17, 2017

Winners of the 2017 Global Legal Skills Awards Announced; Winners from Australia, Mexico, Qatar, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States

The 2017 Global Legal Skills Awards are being presented this week to individuals and institutions that have worked to promote global legal skills education. Awards are being presented in Monterrey, Mexico at the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, the host of the 12th Global Legal Skills Conference. A full list of winners from 2012 to 2017 can be found by clicking here.

Here are the 2017 GLS Award Winners:

Prof. M. Catherine Beck (Department of English, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana, United States) is recognized for creating the Legal English Program at the Indiana University Robert McKinney School of Law and for her support of global legal skills education. As a non-lawyer language specialist working in Legal English for more than 15 years, she has enhanced legal skills pedagogy for lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language. 

Prof. E. Joan Blum (Boston College Law School, Massachusetts, United States) is recognized for her years of teaching common law legal reasoning in the International Tax Program at Harvard Law School and later directing the Boston College Law Summer Institute for international lawyers, for her many publications in the field of legal writing education, for her service to the legal writing community, and for her work teaching legal reasoning and writing to judges, lawyers, and law students in the former Yugoslavia.

20170315_102415Prof. Lurene Contento (The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois, United States) is recognized for many contributions to legal skills education around the world, including her interactive and innovative teaching in China, Central America, and Central Europe. She has shared her knowledge and ideas to improve legal writing at many international conferences and through her award-winning publications. She has given years of dedicated service to the Global Legal Skills Conference Series, ensuring its success and a positive experience for the participants. Over the years she has helped thousands of law students, including many non-native speakers of English. She has also contributed to the professionalization of writing centers across the United States through her leadership as Chair of the Association of Legal Writing Specialists.

Prof. Kimberly Holst (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, United States) is recognized for her efforts on projects that advance legal skills training in the United States and around the world. Her recent scholarship examines the importance of teaching reflective practices to law students so that they can develop those skills in law school and transfer them to practice. She also explores drafting techniques in the context of alternative dispute resolution. She has also served the legal writing community through her leadership of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. She also enhanced the ability of presenters to make presentation proposals to the Global Legal Skills Conference, deepening the pool of presenters from around the world.

Matthew J. Homewood (Nottingham Trent University, England, United Kingdom) is recognized for his extensive experience in teaching and innovative curriculum development across a comprehensive range of undergraduate, post-graduate, professional, and practitioner programs. He is the Acting Head of Postgraduate Programmes at Nottingham Law School, England. He has significant expertise in the use of educational technology and the impact of such technologies on student engagement. Matthew recently received an HEA National Teaching Fellowship, the most prestigious individual award in the United Kingdom for excellence in teaching in higher education.

Dr. Chantal Morton (Melbourne Law School, Australia) is a senior lecturer at Melbourne Law School, where she develops resources and runs programs with a focus on legal writing and academic skills for law students and graduate law students. She is recognized for her energetic and innovative teaching and for working to improve legal skills education in Australia. Before joining the faculty at Melbourne Law School, she taught at the Osgoode Hall Law School (Canada) where she was also the Director of Career Services. Dr. Morton will be a Co-Chair of the 2018 Global Legal Skills Conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia.

Prof. Rebecca Schillings (Hamad bin Khalifa University College of Law and Public Policy, Qatar) is an Assistant Professor at Hamad bin Khalifa University’s College of Law and Public Policy (CLPP), where she is responsible for the legal skills component of the curriculum. She created a legal lab that engages law students in experimentation and interactive prototyping to develop new approaches to legal practice.

The International Law Institute in Washington, D.C. was established in 1955 as part of Georgetown University to assist in the building of governmental and economic institutions in post-war Europe. Over the years, the ILI has provided training and technical assistance to thousands of lawyers, judges, and other government officials. It was a pioneer in creating a course in Legal English, publishing the first U.S. Coursebook on Legal English, and in creating a course to introduce the U.S. legal system to law students and lawyers from outside the United States. The ILI is headquarted in Washington DC and has regional offices in Chile, Egypt, Nigeria, Turkey, and Uganda. [2017 Institutional Winner]

The Centro de Estudios sobre la Enseñanza y el Aprendizaje del Derecho, A.C. in Monterrey, Mexico is an independent, non-profit research center. It is recognized for its dedication to improving the quality of the legal education and legal practice in Mexico. [2017 Institutional Winner]

Professors S.I. Strong (University of Missouri School of Law, United States), Katia Fach Gómez (University of Zaragoza, Spain), and Laura Carballo Piñeiro (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain), for their book, Comparative Law for Spanish–English Speaking Lawyers: Legal Cultures, Legal Terms and Legal Practices (Edward Elgar Publishing 2017). The book provides lawyers and law students who are conversationally fluent in both Spanish and English with the information and skills to undertake comparative legal research in their second language, and to facilitate communication with colleagues and clients in that language. [2017 GLS Book Award]

More information about the GLS Awards is available by clicking here.


The next Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in December 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. More information about the Global Legal Skills Conference is available by clicking here.


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