Click on the links below to read more about awards and scholarships given by LWI:

Blackwell Award

Golden Pen Award

Legal Writing Scholarships


The 2014 Blackwell Award:

The Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute awarded the 2014 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing to Jan Levine at the AALS Conference in New York City. Jan is an Associate Professor and Director of Legal Research and Writing at Duquesne University School of Law.

As stated in the letter nominating him for the Blackwell Award, Jan exemplifies these qualities in several important ways:

For a quarter of a century, he has brought practical strategies for better legal writing education to his students. Through his work as a legal writing director, he has upgraded the legal writing programs at four very different law schools – Virginia, Arkansas-Fayetteville, Temple, and Duquesne – improving directly the legal education of all the students at those schools. In addition, his conference presentations, service, and scholarship have helped an entire generation of legal writing professors innovate and professionalize, helping to improve the legal skills training of many more students across the country.  There are scores of legal writing professors and program directors who have benefitted from [his] assistance with their careers and his tireless mentoring, consulting, and strategizing. 

The Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award is annually bestowed at the AALS conference. The Boards of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) jointly created this Award to honor the life of our colleague, Tom Blackwell.

The 2014 Golden Pen Award

Ken Adams is the recipient of the 2014 Golden Pen Award. The author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, published by the ABA, Mr. Adams is an internationally known expert in legal drafting. The award will be presented during the 2014 Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute, June 29-July 2, 2014, in Philadelphia.

The LWI Awards Committee recommended Mr. Adams for the 2014 Golden Pen to recognize his exemplary work in contract drafting at a time when transactional law is increasingly important in the overall legal writing curriculum. The LWI Board unanimously approved this recommendation.

According to The Lawyers Weekly, “in the world of contract drafting, Ken Adams is the guru.” The nomination submitted to the LWI Awards Committee echoed this assessment, stating that “Ken is the author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, simply the best guide to contract language—ever.” It went on to say that “[he] focuses on the language of contracts—not what you express in a given contract provision, but how to express it in modern and effective contract language. On that subject, he is without peer; no one else comes close.”

Mr. Adams’s blog is consistently listed in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 (designated as the top 100 law-related blogs). He also has been recognized by the ABA Journal as one of the leading innovators in the legal profession. Mr. Adams practiced transactional law for more than 15 years and was a lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 2006 to 2012, where he taught the school’s first course on contract drafting. He currently provides seminars throughout the U.S., Canada, and internationally (see