Burton Awards Adds Two Highly Regarded Writing Scholars to its Academic Committee


October 9, 2013

New York, New York: The Burton Awards announced the addition of two new and
distinguished members to its Academic Committee, Philip M. Genty of Columbia Law School
and Jeanne Merino of Stanford Law School. The new committee members will help judge law
firm and law school articles, which will be submitted for the 2014 program. The Academic
Committee is chaired by Virginia Wise of Harvard Law School.

“We are extremely fortunate and delighted to have Philip Genty and Jeanne Merino serve on our
Academic Committee. They bring a wealth of knowledge and a world of expertise to these
positions, and will be an invaluable resource to review submissions. Judging quality of writing
takes the greatest experience and know-how. Both Philip and Jeanne have these rare talents and
abilities,” stated William C. Burton, Founder and Chair of the Burton Awards.

Philip Genty is the Everett B. Birch Innovative Teaching Clinical Professor in Professional
Responsibility at Columbia Law School. He directs the Prisoners and Families Clinic and the
Moot Court program, and he teaches professional responsibility. Professor Genty is an authority
on prisoners’ rights, legal ethics, and family law. Professor Genty’s accomplishments include
consulting on legal education and ethics in Central and Eastern Europe and Israel, lecturing at the
White House on dissatisfactory parental incarceration policies, and being honored with the 2008
Willis L. M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Jeanne Merino is a director in the legal research and writing program at Stanford Law School.
Ms. Merino graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College and received her JD from Stanford Law
School. Her concentrated areas of interest include legal theory and law practice, health and
housing, and community law practice.

The 15th annual Burton Awards event will be held at the Library of Congress on June 9, 2014.
The program was established to honor the finest accomplishments in law, including writing,
reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the


The Burton Awards is funded by the Burton Foundation, a nonprofit, 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.

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
Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge 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.


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 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.”