Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award

Deborah Hecht served as the Director of the Legal Writing Center at Touro University School of Law for eight years. During that time, she worked to develop Touro's Legal Resources Center, including developing a website. She was also active in LWI and in its smaller legal writing specialists group, writing articles for The Second Draft's "From the Desk of the Writing Specialist" column. Deborah died on November 4, 2005, and she is greatly missed by all in the legal writing community, particularly the members of the Association of Legal Writing Specialists. To honor her memory and her contributions to the legal writing profession, the legal writing specialists received approval from the Legal Writing Institute Board of Directors to create the Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award. 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. 


2022 Winner: Alissa Hartig, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics, Portland State University

The Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) is delighted to announce that the recipient of the 2022 Hecht Award is Alissa Hartig, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University. The Hecht 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. Professor Hartig’s winning article is “Not All Errors Are Created Equal: Tailoring Feedback to Meet Student Needs.”

In her article, Professor Hartig provides insight into giving appropriate feedback based upon the circumstances and the student. The author speaks specifically about the needs of multilingual writers being different from those of a monolingual English writer or speaker, which requires a variation in the techniques used to assist the student(s).  

Professor Hartig has written several books.  The one most pertinent to law is Connecting Language and Disciplinary Knowledge in English for Specific Purposes: Case Studies in Law (Multilingual Matters: 2017).  This book addresses how language and disciplinary knowledge are connected in the English for Legal Purposes (ELP) classroom as students learn to read and write new genres in a second language and disciplinary culture.

The LWI Board is grateful for the work of the LWI Awards Committee in identifying nominees and making recommendations to the Board. The Committee includes Chair Brenda Gibson, and members Andrew Carter, Janet Dickson, Kathryn Mercer, Samantha Moppett, Dyane O’Leary, Suzanne Rowe, and Mark Wojcik.