February 12, 2013
Contact: Michelle Rayzman
Telephone: 212-672-1862
Fax: 212-672-1842
Email: mrayzman@burtonawards.com

New York, New York: The Burton Awards program, run in association with the Library of Congress, announced U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's newly released memoir, My Beloved World (Random House, 2013), as the "Contemporary Book of the Year in Law." Honorable Edward Forstenzer (retired), Presiding Judge of the Superior Court in California and a former U.S. Magistrate Judge, led the "Committee on Legal Writing," which made the selection.

Judge Forstenzer concluded, "The Justice's book is a fascinating and inspirational account of the many personal challenges she has overcome. It tells a story of perseverance and promise, courage, and determination. It is a remarkably compelling story, told with the greatest sense of humility. To this effect, the Justice wrote that she hopes readers will 'find comfort, perhaps even inspiration, from a close examination of how an ordinary person with strengths and weaknesses like anyone else, has managed an extraordinary journey.'"

Justice Sotomayor became the third woman and first Hispanic to be appointed to the top court in the federal judiciary. William Burton, Founder and Chair of The Burton Awards, said "Justice Sotomayor weaves a brilliant and candid narrative of her life's experiences, and tells of the significant obstacles she surmounted on the road to her great success." The book is currently the #1 Nonfiction title on the New York Times Bestseller list.

The Burton Awards event will be held at the Library of Congress on June 3, 2013. Justice Sotomayor will be presented with the award and honored during the program. This year marks the 14th anniversary of the national non-profit program. The Burton Awards was established to honor the finest achievements in law, including writing, reform, and other major accomplishments.

The honorary and distinguished members of the Burton Awards Board of Directors include the following leaders in law: Judge Richard Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit; Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; Judith Kaye, former Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals (retired); John Cornyn, United States Senator; Robert P. Casey, Jr., United States Senator; Mike Crapo, United States Senator; Spencer Bachus, United States Congressman; Thomas L. Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; Keith C. Wetmore, Chair Emeritus, Morrison & Foerster LLP; Dennis Smith, former State Senator and member of the Missouri Judiciary Committee, Missouri Legislature; and Stephen R. Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper.


The Burton Awards is funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. Since its inception in 1999, the organization has focused primarily on the refinement and enrichment of legal writing and other major legal accomplishments. The program honors partners in law firms and law school students who use plain, clear, and concise language in their writing.


This prominent institution is one of the most celebrated and distinguished libraries in the world. It was established on April 24, 1800, and since that time has grown to become one of the largest repositories in history. The Library of Congress functions as both a national library and as the research arm of the U.S. Congress. It contains more than 32 million catalogued books and more than 62 million manuscripts.

WILLIAM C. BURTON, ESQ., Founder and Chair

The Founder and Chair of The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement is William C. Burton, Esq., a partner in the law firm of Sagat|Burton LLP. He is a former New York State Assistant Attorney General, a former New York State Assistant Special Prosecutor, and is the author of the first legal thesaurus ever written for the legal profession, entitled BURTON'S LEGAL THESAURUS. The 5th edition will be released by McGraw Hill in 2013. When the book was released, it was recognized as "one of the Most Innovative and Creative Projects of the year" by the Association of American Publishers. In 2011, Mr. Burton was presented the highest honor given by the second largest association of law professors in America, The Legal Writing Institute. He was recognized for "significantly advancing the cause of legal writing in the profession of law." More recently, he was awarded the "Blackstone Award" by the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, for "embodying and promoting the best ideals of the institution."

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