The Mary S. Lawrence Award recognizes an individual for a combination of pioneering scholarship and innovative curriculum or program design. The award may be presented every other year at the biennial conference of the Legal Writing Institute or at another appropriate event.
The award is named for Professor Emerita Mary S. Lawrence, longtime Director of the Legal Writing and Research Program at the University of Oregon School of Law and an early Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. For her scholarship and her pioneering work in legal writing education, Mary received the first Distinguished Service Award from the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research; the inaugural Marjorie Rombauer Award from the Association of Legal Writing Directors; a joint LWI/ALWD Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education.
In the spirit of recognizing the many individuals who make significant contributions to the field of legal writing, the LWI Awards Committee welcomes nominees who have not already received other LWI or legal writing awards. Members of the LWI Board of Directors and the LWI Awards Committee are ineligible for nomination until at least one year after completing their service.
The Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) is elated to announce Olympia Duhart as the recipient of the 2022 Mary Lawrence Award. Professor Duhart has taught Legal Research and Writing and other courses at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law since 2004. At Nova, she has served as Director of Faculty Development, Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program, and Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Development.
The Mary Lawrence Award recognizes an individual for a combination of pioneering scholarship and innovative curriculum or program design. It is named for Professor Emerita Mary S. Lawrence, longtime Director of Legal Writing and Research at the University of Oregon School of Law and an early Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.
Professor Duhart is a leader in both scholarship and innovative work in program and curricular design. She is a prolific writer who has co-authored and authored books and book chapters as well as numerous scholarly articles and essays, many of which focus on formative assessment and contemporary teaching methods. Her articles such as “The ‘F’ Word: The Top Five Complaints (and Solutions) About Formative Assessment,” published in the Journal of Legal Education, and “It’s Not for a Grade: The Rewards and Risks of Low-Risk Assessment in the HighStakes Law School Classroom,” published in the Elon Law Review, use cognitive science, learning theory, and research to guide professors to the effective use of formative assessment in the classroom.
Professor Duhart’s curricular and program design at Nova embodies the spirit of this award. For example, in her nine years as Director, she shepherded the transition from long-term contracts to a unitary faculty track and created the popular and award-winning Student Outreach Program to support LRW students outside the classroom with programming, guest speakers, and events to reinforce skills taught in LRW courses.
While service is not one of the specific pillars of the Mary Lawrence Award, Professor Duhart’s nomination letters offered overwhelming praise of her extensive involvement with national organizations and mentorship to others. For example, she served as a member of the editorial team for the new edition of the ABA Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs; was recently elected Co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers—the first woman to serve in that role twice; was a founding member of Writing as Resistance—a collective for legal writing professors of color; serves as a member of the ALWD Board; and chaired the 2021 ALWD Biennial Conference.
As one nominator summarized: “Professor Duhart’s impressive scholarship and innovative teaching are a perfect match with the award’s spirit, ideals, and values.” The LWI Board of Directors couldn’t agree more.
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.