Betty Whelchel to Be Dinner Chair of The 2014 Burton Awards Program


March 21, 2014

New York, New York:¬†Betty A. Whelchel, Esq. has been selected as the 2014 Dinner Chair of The Burton Awards Program, held in association with the Library of Congress. The national non-profit organization will celebrate its 15th Anniversary and host its annual event on Monday, June 9, 2014. As Dinner Chair, Ms. Whelchel will provide input to ensure the function’s growth and success. In 2013, Ms. Whelchel was chosen to be one of only ten “Legends in Law” by the awards program. She becomes the first corporate counsel ever selected for the position.

Ms. Whelchel serves as the General Counsel for BNP Paribas – CIB Americas. She is responsible for the legal coverage of the Bank’s corporate and investment banking activities in the Americas and the management of its legal divisions located in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina. Prior to joining BNP Paribas in 2005, Ms. Whelchel worked with Deutsche Bank AG, first as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. and then as global General Counsel for Deutsche Asset Management. She began her career at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as an Attorney-Advisor in the Treasury Honors Program. Ms. Whelchel is the first General Counsel to serve in this position at the non-profit awards program, the purpose of which is to reward excellence and encourage perfection in law.

William C. Burton, founder and chair of the program said “I was delighted when Betty accepted our invitation to be the 2014 Dinner Chair. Betty will bring a fresh and dynamic international dimension to our program. We are anxious to expand The Burton Awards globally. With Betty’s wealth of knowledge, I am certain she will be one of the greatest assets we have ever had participate in our awards program.”

Ms. Whelchel joins a proud list of other illustrious Dinner Chairs. These leaders in law include Duane Wall, then Chair, White & Case, H. Rodgin Cohen, Chair, Sullivan & Cromwell, Keith Wetmore, then Chair, Morrison & Foerster, Joe Leccese, Chair, Proskauer Rose, James Rishwain, Chair & CEO, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw & Pittman, and Michael Solow, Co-Chair, Kaye Scholer.

The awards to be presented at the 2014 Burton Awards will include the Reform in Law Award, Legends in Law Awards, Legal Writing Awards, Morrison Foerster Regulator Innovation Award, Contributions to Legal Writing Education Award, Public Service Awards and Public Interest Awards. The prestigious award program will be held at the Library of Congress on June 9, 2014. Typically, the audience includes 400 to 500 members of the legal profession, including judges, public officials, managing partners and deans of the nation’s largest law schools. Jay Leno is the guest performer at this year’s program. Previous prominent speakers include NBC News’ Tom Brokaw, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, and Bob Schieffer of CBS News.


The Burton Awards, established in 1999, is funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards was established to honor the finest accomplishments in law, including writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the profession. 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.

WILLIAM C. BURTON, ESQ., Founder and Chair

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.”