Finest Law School Writers Selected By The Burton Awards


March 15, 2018

New York, New York: The finest law school writers of 2018 have been announced by the Burton Awards, a non-profit program, which is run in association with the Library of Congress, presented by lead sponsor Law360, and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association. The 15 winners, who will be presented the “Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Awards” on May 21, 2018, were chosen from the nominations submitted by professors at renowned colleges around the country. William Burton, The Founder and Chair, said “The winners are outstanding, highly skilled, and effective writers, and the competition was acutely keen. The Law360 Writing Awards winners have now attained a new and even higher standard of excellence.”

The Academic Board, which reviewed articles published within the past year, was led by Virginia Wise, Chair; Jeanne Merino, Stanford Law School; Lindsay Saffouri, UC Berkeley School of Law, William C. Burton, author and founder of the event; Judge Edward Forstenzer, Superior Court of California (retired); and William Ryan, member of the Department of Homeland Security and former Chair of the White House Plain Language Committee.

The award ceremony will be celebrating its nineteenth anniversary at the Library of Congress. The program will be followed by a reception, dinner, gala and a performance by Broadway stars Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block from the hit musical Wicked.

The honorary and distinguished Board of Directors of the Burton Awards program includes: Chief Judge Richard Posner, 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (retired) ; U.S. Senator John Cornyn; U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.; U.S. Senator Mike Crapo; U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet; Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan of California; Yabo Lin, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Jane Sullivan Roberts, Partner, Major, Lindsey & Africa; Lisa Rickard,  President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Elissa Lichtenstein, Director, Public Services Division, American Bar Association; Thomas L. Sager, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP; Les Parrette, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Novelis Inc.; Linda Klein, Immediate Past President of the ABA James M. Rishwain, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, Pillsbury Winthrop LLP; Betty Whelchel, Head of Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, BNP Paribas SA; Stephen R. Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US); and Leslie T. Thornton, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, WGL Holdings, Inc. and Washington Gas.

Law360, a LexisNexis company, serves as the lead sponsor of the Burton Awards and the Distinguished Legal Writing Awards.

“Clear, compelling writing is an essential tool for all lawyers,” Law360 General Manager Scott Roberts said. “Law360 is proud to be associated with these awards, which recognize the best of the best writers in the legal profession. We salute all of the winners and commend them on demonstrating these talents and sustaining such high standards of written excellence.”

The 2018 Law School winners are:


Law School Author(s) Article Title
Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University


Jasmine Gandhi


“Protect Our Friends: The Extraterritorial Application Of The Ant-Retaliation Provision Of The SEC’s Whistleblower
Berkeley Law


Alynia Phillips


The Multiracial Option: A Step in the White Direction
Brooklyn Law School


Alexa Bordner


How New York Drinks: If and How Third-Party Providers Can Integrate with the Three-Tier System
Case Western Reserve University School of Law


Leah Slyder


Rape in the Civil and Administrative Contexts: Proposed Solutions to Problems in Tort Cases Brought by Rape Survivors
Emory School of Law


Fiona O’Carroll


Inherently Governmental: A Legal Argument for Ending Private Federal Prisons and Detention Centers
Georgetown Law


Alison Tanner


Live and Learn: Using the Fair Housing Act to Advance Educational Opportunity for Parenting Students
Louisiana State University- Paul M Herbert Law Center


Caroline Donze


Breaking the Seal of Confession:  Examining the Constitutionality of the Clergy-Penitent Privilege in Mandatory Reporting Law
Stanford Law


Doron Dorfman


Re-Claiming Disability: Identity, Procedural Justice, and the Disability Determination Process
Tulane Law School


Coleman Torrans


How Did They Know That? Cell Site Simulators and the Secret Invasion of Privacy
University of Minnesota Law School


Franklin R. Guenthner


Reconsidering Home Rule and City-State Preemption in Abandoned Fields of Law


Vanderbilt Univerity Law School


Laura Dolbow


A Distinction Without a Difference: Convergence in Claim Construction Standards
Vermont Law School


Andrew Rome


Black Snake on the Periphery: The Dakota Access Pipeline and Tribal Jurisdictional Sovereignty
West Virginia University School of Law


Jaden P. Rhea


Highway to Hell: The Privatized Prison Transportation Industry and the Long Road to Reform
William & Mary Law School


Matthew Rosendahl


iTenant: How the Law Should Treat Rental Relationships in the Sharing Economy
Yale Law School


Urja Mittal Litigation Rulemaking



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



Law360, a LexisNexis company, is a trusted provider of breaking legal news and in-depth analysis, with up-to-the-minute, comprehensive coverage of litigation, regulation and enforcement, legislation, administrative proceedings, executive actions, corporate deals, legal industry trends, and more. With a unique blend of cutting-edge technology and journalistic expertise, Law360 delivers the intelligence legal and business professionals at top law firms, Fortune 1000 companies, key government agencies, and many other organizations need to remain experts, mitigate risk, and beat the competition.



LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.



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 at 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.” In 2017 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform Individual Achievement Award was presented to Mr. Burton for making the U.S. Justice System “fairer for all.”