Finest Law School Writers Selected By The Burton Awards


March 4, 2019

New York, New York: The finest law school writers of 2019 have been announced by the Burton Awards, a national non-profit program, which is run in association with the Library of Congress, presented by lead sponsor Law360, and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association. The 10 winners, who will be presented the “Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Awards” on May 20, 2019, were chosen from the nominations submitted by professors at renowned colleges around the country. William Burton, Founder and Chair of the awards program, said “The winners are outstanding, highly skilled, and effective writers. The Law360 Writing Awards winners have now taught a new and even higher standard of excellence.”

The Academic Board, which reviewed articles published within the past year, was led by Virginia Wise, Chair, formerly of Harvard Law School; Jeanne Merino, Stanford Law School; Lindsay Saffouri, UC Berkeley School of Law, William C. Burton, Author and founder of the event; Judge Edward Forstenzer, Superior Court of California (retired); and William Ryan, former member of the Department of Homeland Security and Chair of the White House Plain Language Committee.

The award ceremony will be celebrating its Twentieth Anniversary at the Library of Congress. The award ceremony will be followed by a gala reception, dinner, and performance by singer, actor and songwriter Idina Menzel and nationally recognized magician Shin Lim.

The honorary and distinguished Board of Directors of the Burton Awards program includes: former Chief Judge Richard Posner, 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (retired); U.S. Senator John Cornyn; U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.; U.S. Senator Mike Crapo; U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet; U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen; U.S. Senator Cory Gardner; Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan of California; Yabo Lin, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Jane Sullivan Roberts, Partner, McLegal Group; Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chairman, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; Lisa Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Thomas L. Sager, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP; Les Parrette, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Novelis Inc. and Deputy Chairman, Burton Awards; James M. Rishwain, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, Pillsbury Winthrop LLP; Betty Whelchel, Head of Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, BNP Paribas SA; Linda A. Klein, Senior Managing Shareholder at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz and Past President, American Bar Association; and Stephen R. Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US).

Rachel Travers, Vice President of Law360 said, “Clear, compelling writing is an essential tool for all lawyers. Law360 is proud to be associated with these awards, which recognize the best of the best writers in the legal profession. We salute all of the winners and commend them on demonstrating these talents and sustaining such high standards of written excellence.”

The 2019 Law School winners are:

Law School Author(s) Article Title
Stanford Law School Faaris (Fares) Akremi Does Justice “Need to Know”?: Judging Classified State Secrets in the Face of Executive Obstruction
Cornell Law School Rachael Hancock Mob Legislating: JASTA’s Addition to the Terrorism Exception to Foreign Sovereign Immunity
University of Michigan Law School Michael S. Smith Neither Limited nor Simplified: A Proposal for Reform of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 222(b)
Emory University School of Law Tyler Quinn Yeargain Discretion Versus Supersession: Calibrating the Power Balance Between Local Prosecutors and State Officials
Fordham Law School Casey Adams Home Rules: The Case for Local Administrative Procedure
University of Minnesota Law School R. David Hahn Late for an Appointment: Balancing Impartiality and Accountability in the IRS Office of Appeals
University of Wisconsin Law School Charles J. Urena Reading Sexual Orientation Protections into Title VII: A Moral Revitalization Theory of Statutory Interpretation
Howard University School of Law Candace Caruthers When the Cops Become the Robbers: The Impact of Asset Forfeiture on Blacks and How to Curtail Asset Forfeiture Abuses
Brooklyn Law School Chloe Gordils Google, Charlottesville, and the Need to Protect Private Employees’ Political Speech
University of Miami School of Law Elizabeth Montano The Bring Your Own Tampon Policy: Why Menstrual Hygiene Products Should Be Provided for Free in Restrooms



The Burton Awards, established in 1999, are funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards were established to honor the finest accomplishments in law, including writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the profession.


Law360, a LexisNexis company, is a trusted provider of breaking legal news and in-depth analysis, with up-to-the-minute, comprehensive coverage of litigation, regulation and enforcement, legislation, administrative proceedings, executive actions, corporate deals, legal industry trends, and more. With a unique blend of cutting-edge technology and journalistic expertise, Law360 delivers the intelligence legal and business professionals at top law firms, Fortune 1000 companies, key government agencies, and many other organizations need to remain experts, mitigate risk, and beat the competition.


LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.


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.


The Founder and Chair of The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement is William C. Burton, Esq., a partner at 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 book is now in its 5th edition and quickly approaching its 35th anniversary. When the book was released, the Association of American Publishers recognized it as “one of the Most Innovative and Creative Projects of the year.” In 2011, Mr. Burton was presented the highest honor given by the second largest association of law professors in America, The Legal Writing Institute, 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.” In 2017 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform Individual Achievement Award was presented to Mr. Burton for making the U.S. Justice System “fairer for all.”