Noah Messing Appointed Chair of “Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education Committee” of The Burton Awards


January 30, 2014

New York, New York: The Burton Awards announced that Noah Messing, a prominent lecturer
at Yale Law School, has been selected to chair the “Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing
Education Committee.” The committee is charged with selecting the finest law school teacher
who has promoted and advanced legal writing. Mr. Messing replaces former committee chair
Anne Kringel, who is the Legal Writing Director and Senior Lecturer at the University of
Pennsylvania, who retired from law school teaching.

William C. Burton, Founder and Chair of the Burton Awards, which is run in association with
the Library of Congress, stated, “We are all extremely fortunate that Noah Messing accepted our
invitation to serve as chairman of this important and valuable committee. Mr. Messing’s
experience as a true scholar as well as his extensive legal background is now a great asset to our

Noah Messing graduated from Yale Law School, where he worked as an editor of The Yale Law
Journal. He previously practiced law in Washington D.C. and served as Counsel to Senator
Hillary Rodham Clinton. Throughout his academic career, Mr. Messing has been honored with
the Coker Fellowship, the Benjamin Cardozo Prize and the Potter Stewart Prize in the Morris
Tyler Moot Court of Appeals program. Other members of the Outstanding Contributions to
Legal Writing Education Committee include Nancy Schultz, Professor of Law at Chapman
University School of Law as well as Director of the Competitions and Alternative Dispute
Resolution Program, and Grace Tonner, Professor and Associate Dean of Lawyering Skills at
University of California Irvine School of Law.

The 15th annual Burton Awards event will be held at the Library of Congress on June 9, 2014.
The program was established to honor the finest accomplishments in law, including writing,
reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the

The “Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Award” was created in 2004. Over the last ten
years, the Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Award was given to deans of law schools,
leading professors, and even to Kent D. Syverud, now Chancellor of Syracuse University.


The Burton Awards is funded by the Burton Foundation, a nonprofit, academic effort devoted to
recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. Since its inception in 1999, the
organization has focused primarily on the refinement and enrichment of legal writing and other
major legal accomplishments. The program honors partners in law firms and law school students
who use plain, clear, and concise language in their writing.

The honorary and distinguished members of the Burton Awards Board of Directors include the
following leaders in law: Judge Richard Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit; Chief
Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the 9th Circuit; Judith Kaye, former Chief Judge
of the New York State Court of Appeals (retired); John Cornyn, United States Senator; Robert P.
Casey Jr., United States Senator; Mike Crapo, United States Senator; Spencer Bachus, United
States Congressman; Thomas L. Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, E.I. du Pont
de Nemours and Company; Keith C. Wetmore, Chair Emeritus, Morrison & Foerster LLP;
Dennis Smith, former State Senator and member of the Missouri Judiciary Committee, Missouri
Legislature; and Stephen R. Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper.


This prominent institution is one of the most celebrated and distinguished libraries in the world.
It was established on April 24, 1800, and since that time has grown to become one of the largest
repositories in history. The Library of Congress functions as both a national library and as the
research arm of the U.S. Congress. It contains more than 32 million catalogued books and more
than 62 million manuscripts.


The Founder and Chair of The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement is William C. Burton,
Esq., a partner in the law firm of Sagat|Burton LLP. He is a former New York State Assistant
Attorney General, a former New York State Assistant Special Prosecutor, and is the author of the
first legal thesaurus ever written for the legal profession, entitled BURTON’S LEGAL
THESAURUS. The book is now in its 5th edition and quickly approaching its 35th anniversary.
When the book was released, the Association of American Publishers recognized it as “one of
the Most Innovative and Creative Projects of the year.” In 2011, Mr. Burton was presented the
highest honor given by the second largest association of law professors in America, The Legal
Writing Institute, for “significantly advancing the cause of legal writing in the profession of
law.” More recently, he was awarded the “Blackstone Award” by the Friends of the Law Library
of Congress, for “embodying and promoting the best ideals of the institution.”