Golden Pen Award
Purpose of the Award
The Institute has created an Outreach Committee to raise the Institute’s profile and to improve the quality of legal writing throughout the legal profession. As part of that effort, the Committee has created a Golden Pen Award to recognize persons who have significantly advanced the cause of better legal writing.
Procedures for the Award
The 2011 Award
The 2011 Golden Pen Award has been given to George Gopen, a Professor of English at Duke University. Prof. Gopen was one of the first to recognize the need for professionalization of the legal writing academy, and he has worked tirelessly throughout his career to urge law schools to improve the status of legal writing professors. He was the first to suggest an annual survey of legal writing programs to measure our progress over the years. His ground-breaking work on the Reader Expectation Approach to legal writing was one of the earliest attempts to put a theoretical framework to legal writing, and he wrote one of the first textbooks devoted to the teaching of legal writing.
Past Award Winners
The 2010 Award
The LWI Board voted to award the 2010 Golden Pen Award to William C. Burton, Esquire. Mr. Burton received the Golden Pen for all of many notable accomplishments including his very well-respected legal thesaurus, but mostly because he has become one of the most listened-to and melodic voices in the world of people who advocates for legal writing excellence. He created the Burton Foundation, a volunteer, not-for-profit, academic organization that concentrates on the relevance and importance of modernized legal writing. His foundation rewards and celebrates legal writing instruction and action. You may read more about the foundation and the awards at http://www.burtonawards.com/about.html . The award ceremony took place at the LWI Biennial Conference in June 2010.
The 2009 Award
LWI presented its ninth Golden Pen award to the Naitonal Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to honor their work helping attorneys general to deliver high quality legal writing in their briefs. Dan Schweitzer, the project counsel for NAAG's Supreme Court Project, accepted the award on behalf of NAAG.
The 2008 Award
The Legal Writing Institute presented its eighth Golden Pen Award to Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert, Senior Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.