Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Professor Brad Clary of Minnesota Receives the 2020 Blackwell Award

20200108_182509Bradley G. Clary, a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, received the 2020 Thomas F. Blackwell Award in Washington D.C. during the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. The award was presented by Professor Anne E. Mullins (Stetson University College of Law), who serves as President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), and Professor Kristen Konrad Tiscione (Georgetown Law), who serves as President of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI).

A video of Professor Clary's remarks upon receiving the Blackwell Award is available on the LWI Facebook Page,

The Blackwell Award is jointly conferred by ALWD and LWI to recognize 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.

This Blackwell Award honors the late Professor Thomas Blackwell (Appalachian Law School), who was killed by a disturbed student in January 2002. The award was first conferred in 2003, presented by Tom's widow Lisa Blackwell. Professor Blackwell was an active member of both the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute, and the organizations joined together to present the award in his memory.

Professor Clary was recognized for his many contributions to the field of legal writing, including service as a Past President of ALWD, a contributor to the ABA Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs, and service as the ALWD Liaison to the Council of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Professor Clary was the 2004-2006 Vaughan G. Papke Clinical Professor of Law at Minnesota. From 1999-2016, he coordinated and supervised the legal writing and moot court programs, along with, from time to time, the basic trial advocacy programs. He regularly teaches evidence, deposition skills, and law in practice. He received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in History from Carleton College and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School. He became an associate at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in 1975 and a partner in 1982. At various times between 1993 and 1998, he chaired the Antitrust, General Litigation, and Business Litigation practice groups, respectively. Professor Clary was an adjunct professor teaching antitrust at the William Mitchell College of Law in 1997 and 1999, and an adjunct instructor teaching lawyering skills for the University of Minnesota in 1995-1996 and 1998. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty full-time in 1999.

Professor Clary joined this distinguished list of previous recipients of the Blackwell Award:

  • 2020: Bradley G. Clary, Univeristy of Minnesota Law School
  • 2019: Terrill Pollman, University of Nevada at Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law
  • 2018: Ian Gallacher, Syracuse University College of Law
  • 2017: Melissa H. Weresh, Drake University
  • 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 University
  • 2007: Louis Sirico, Villanova Law School
  • 2006: Mary Beth Beazley, The Ohio State University (now at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas)
  • 2005: Ralph Brill, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • 2004: Pam Lysaght, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • 2003: Richard K. Neumann, Hofstra University

The Blackwell Award consists of a cash award of $1000, a plaque, and a desk lamp -- a symbol of the light that Tom Blackwell shed on his students and a reminder of his penchant for lightbulb jokes. [How many legal writing teachers does it take to change a lightbulb? We wish that we had the resources to change the lightbulb.]


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