Monday, October 4, 2021
The Legal Writing Institute presents a number of awards each year. This year, there is a combined announcement for all of the LWI awards and a common deadline for nominations.
The Golden Pen Award
LWI created the Golden Pen Award to recognize individuals or organizations for significantly advancing the cause of professional legal writing. Anyone who has made an extraordinary contribution to improving legal writing may be nominated for the Golden Pen. The contribution may take any form, such as promoting the use of clear language in public documents; engaging in outstanding scholarship or journalism about legal writing or in exceptional writing for law practice; improving the quality of legal writing instruction; or advocating for better writing within the legal community. The award is usually given to someone who is not an active LWI member, but an active member may be considered in exceptional circumstances. Find more information about the award here.
The Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award
The Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award honors the life of Deborah Hecht. The award is given to the writing specialist who writes the best article for The Second Draft during a two-year period. The award is presented during the LWI Biennial Conference. Find more information about the award here.
The Courage Award
Terri LeClercq created the Courage Award to honor “courage writ large” concerning legal writing. Through the award, LWI seeks to honor a member who has demonstrated courage by doing, despite fear, something that most people would not do. Find more information about the award here.
The Mary S. Lawrence Award
The Mary S. Lawrence Award recognizes an individual from the legal writing community for a combination of pioneering scholarship and innovative curriculum or program design. Find more information about the award here.
The Emerging Scholar Award
This new award (created in 2019) recognizes emerging scholars in our discipline to foster a new generation of scholars while recognizing the rich diversity of our community. Unlike the Phelps Award, this award is limited to a professor’s first or second full-length, published article on legal writing doctrine or pedagogy. Find more information about the award here.
Influential Teaching Award
This new award (created in 2019) recognizes outstanding teachers who have influenced the teaching of legal writing beyond their individual classrooms. With this award, we acknowledge our continued commitment to excellence in teaching and advances in legal writing pedagogy. This is not a lifetime achievement award. Find more information about the award here.
The committee reminds everyone of LWI’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee especially encourages the nominations of women, people of color, and members of other traditionally under-represented groups.
All nominations will be due by Friday, January 14, 2022.
The most helpful nominations are around 500 words. The nominations should go beyond reiterating information on the nominee’s website or CV by specifically showing how the person’s work fulfills the goal of the award. Also, your nomination should include the name of the award for which the nomination is written. Members of the LWI Board of Directors and the LWI Awards Committee are ineligible for nomination until at least one year after completing their service. If you have any questions, feel free to contact a member of the LWI Awards Committee:
- Brenda Gibson (chair) (Wake Forest)
- Andrew Carter (Arizona State)
- Janet Dickson (Seattle)
- Kathryn Mercer (Case Western)
- Samantha Moppett (Suffolk)
- Dyane O’Leary (Suffolk)
- Suzanne Rowe (Oregon)
- Mark E. Wojcik (University of Illinois Chicago)
Hat tips to Kris Tiscione and Brenda Gibson