Thursday, May 24, 2018

Stetson Named Inaugural ABA Competitions Champion; Texas Tech and Drake finish Second and Third


The American Bar Association has named Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, the inaugural ABA Competitions Champion.

Competitions Champion is awarded to the law school that garnered the most points through team achievements and participation in the ABA Law Student Division’s four practical skills competitions:

Ranking criteria and the point totals for the top teams can be found here.

“Our four competitions offer students an amazing opportunity to hone essential lawyering skills before they enter practice. Through consistent participation and success in ABA competitions, these law schools display especially well-rounded practical skills training programs. We are thrilled to recognize these schools through the Competitions Championship,” said Connie S. Smothermon, Competitions Committee co-chair and director of Competitions and Externships, University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Stetson fielded nine teams across four competitions and advanced to the national finals in the Arbitration, Negotiation and Client Counseling Competitions. Vanessa Denk, and Jahanna Azarian finished as national semifinalists at the Client Counseling Nationals in March at North Carolina Central University. The Arbitration team of Olivia Mejido, Max Brown, Caroline Garrity, and Meghan Sullivan placed first at the regional competition at Michigan State University College of Law.

“We are delighted to be recognized by the preeminent organization of our nation’s lawyers. Importantly, these skills are the foundation on which our students will build their professional careers to effectively represent clients and advocate for our communities,” added Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, dean and professor of law, Stetson University College of Law.

ABA competitions teach law students real-world legal skills in a simulated practice environment. Judges for the competitions included volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench. This year, over 1,300 students from 156 law schools participated in one or more of the competitions sponsored by the Law Student Division. 

Top Ten ABA Competition Law Schools by Points

1. Stetson University College of Law
2. Texas Tech University School of Law
3. Drake University Law School
4. Liberty University School of Law
5 (tie). University of Oklahoma College of Law
5 (tie). Michigan State University College of Law
7 (tie). Chapman University School of Law
7 (tie). University of Illinois College of Law
9. Southern Methodist University – Dedman School of Law
10 (tie). South Texas College of Law
10 (tie). Texas A&M University School of Law

For more information on the ABA Law Student Division and the competitions, visit

(mew) (adapted from an ABA Press Release)

May 24, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

List of Winners of the Burton Award

Here is the list of past winners of the Burton Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education:

  • Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (to be presented on May 21, 2018)
  • Linda Edwards, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law (2017)
  • Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Villanova University (2016)
  • Marilyn Walter, Brooklyn Law School (2015)
  • Anne M. Enquist, Seattle University School of Law (2014)
  • Mary Lawrence, University of Oregon School of Law (2013)
  • Tina L. Stark, Boston University School of Law (2012)
  • Marjorie Dick Rombauer, University of Washington (2011)
  • Helene S. Shapo, Northwestern University Law School (2010)
  • Richard K. Neumann Jr., Hofstra University School of Law (2009)
  • Mary Beth Beazley, Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, now at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law (2008)
  • Laurel Oates, Seattle University School of Law (2007)
  • Ralph Brill, Chicago-Kent College of Law (2006)
  • Darby Dickerson, Stetson University College of Law, now at The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (2005)
  • Kent D. Syverund, Vanderbilt University Law School (2004)

May 20, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Burton Awards on Monday

The Burton Legal Writing Awards Ceremony is beyond doubt the most glamorous legal writing event anywhere. Held annually at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., this remarkable event celebrates exceptional legal writing and its teaching.

The next Burton Awards will be presented on Monday, May 21, 2018 at the Library of Congress. Click here for a look back at some photos from the 2015 awards, in a video provided courtesy of Karin Mika and Ralph Brill.



May 20, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 14, 2018

ABA Reports 1.3 Million Licensed, Active Attorneys in the United States

Newly released survey data from the American Bar Association on the nationwide population of lawyers indicates a total of 1,338,678 licensed, active attorneys in the United States. The total represents a 0.2 percent increase since last year and a 15.2 percent rise over the past decade in number of U.S. lawyers.

The American Bar Association National Lawyer Population Survey is an annual snapshot of the number of licensed practicing lawyers in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and five U.S. territories. The association compiles this information each year from data voluntarily submitted by state bar associations or licensing agencies that are asked to provide the number of resident and active attorneys as of December 31 of the prior year. Under those parameters, the 2018 survey represents data as of December 31, 2017.

Overall, the 2018 survey indicates a slight gain in the national lawyer population, rising 0.2 percent from 1,335,963 active resident attorneys on December 31, 2016 to 1,338,678 lawyers on the same day in 2017. A look at the 10-year trend in lawyer population also shows modest year to year increases since 2008, culminating in 2018 with an overall 15.2 percent gain in practicing U.S. lawyers over the decade. 

Among other findings from the report, the top five areas with the largest number of active attorneys in residence are New York (177,035), California (170,044), Texas (90,485), Florida (78,244) and Illinois (63,422). The top five areas with the fewest resident attorneys are North Dakota (1,694), Virgin Islands (776), Guam (270), North Mariana Islands (128) and American Samoa (59).

The 2018 data is presented in three tables. The first is a state-by-state listing of the number of resident lawyers with comparable data from the previous year. The next table shows the trend in population over the past 10 years, again organized by geographic area. And the last table offers the total number of lawyers by year from 1878 to present. 

The numbers presented in the 2018 population report reflect the best available data provided to the ABA from the state associations and agencies. The organizations responding to the survey sometimes change their reporting standards. Among the changes affecting the 2018 report, Vermont was not able to provide current data for 2017 so the data from the most recent submission were used (2016). Virgin Islands was not able to provide residency data in 2018 due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, causing the significant increase in lawyer count. In 2018, Oklahoma removed senior members from the count of active residents (they can still practice but are over the age of 70), causing the significant drop in lawyer count. Each table is footnoted to provide relevant detail on the data submitted by each responding entity.

A full copy of the 2018 survey is located here.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

(ABA Press Release)

May 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)