The Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing

List of The Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award winners: Here

Jointly created with the Association of Legal Writing Directors, this award honors the life of our colleague, Tom Blackwell. The award is presented annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to improve the field of legal writing by demonstrating an ability to nurture and motivate students to excellence; a willingness to help other legal writing educators improve their teaching skills or their legal writing programs; and an ability to create and integrate new ideas for teaching and motivating legal writing educators and students. The Blackwell Award is presented at the annual January meeting of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS).

The Teresa Godwin Phelps Award for Scholarship in Legal Communication

The Teresa Godwin Phelps Award for Scholarship in Legal Communication recognizes outstanding scholarship that strengthens the discipline of legal communication. One or more awards will be given each year for a scholarly article or essay; if warranted, additional awards may be presented for outstanding books within the discipline.


The Golden Pen Award

List of The Golden Pen Award Winners: Here

LWI created the Golden Pen Award to recognize individuals or organizations for significantly advancing the cause of professional legal writing. Anyone who has made an extraordinary contribution to improving legal writing may be nominated for the Golden Pen. The contribution may take any form, such as promoting the use of clear language in public documents; engaging in outstanding scholarship or journalism about legal writing or in exceptional writing for law practice; improving the quality of legal writing instruction; or advocating for better writing within the legal community. The award is usually given to someone who is not an active LWI member, but an active member may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

The Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award

List of The Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award Winners: Here

The Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award honors the life of our colleague, Deborah Hecht. The award is given to the writing specialist who writes the best article for The Second Draft during a two-year period.   The award is presented during the LWI Biennial Conference. 

The Courage Award

List of Courage Award Winners: Here

Terri LeClercq created the Courage Award to honor "courage writ large" concerning legal writing. Through the award, the Legal Writing Institute seeks to honor a member who has demonstrated courage by doing, despite fear, something that most people would not do. 

The Mary S. Lawrence Award

The Mary S. Lawrence Award recognizes an individual from the legal writing community for a combination of pioneering scholarship and innovative curriculum or program design.  

The Emerging Scholar Award

This new award (created 2019) recognizes emerging scholars in our discipline to foster a new generation of scholars while recognizing the rich diversity of our community.  Unlike the Phelps Award, this award is limited to a professor’s first or second full-length, published article on legal writing doctrine or pedagogy.  

The Influential Teaching Award

This new award (created 2019) recognizes outstanding teachers who have influenced the teaching of legal writing beyond their individual classrooms.  With this award, we acknowledge our continued commitment to excellence in teaching and advances in legal writing pedagogy. This is not a lifetime achievement award.