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Chicago-Kent Professor Ralph L. Brill to receive the 2006 Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education

Prestigious award to be presented at June 12 "Legends in the Law" gala at the Library of Congress (video segments)


Professor Ralph L. Brill
CHICAGO–June 1, 2006 –- Professor Ralph L. Brill, the founder of Chicago-Kent College of Law’s comprehensive legal research and writing program, has been named the recipient of the 2006 Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education.

The Burton awards annually honor members of the legal community who advance “plain, clear, and effective legal expression,” and who avoid “stilted, archaic, and convoluted language” in legal writing. The awards were established by attorney William C. Burton, author of Burton’s Legal Thesaurus, and are presented by the Burton Foundation in association with the Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress. This year’s awards ceremony will be held June 12 in the library’s Coolidge Auditorium in Washington, D.C. More than 400 members of the legal community – including judges, law school deans and professors, and attorneys from the nation’s largest law firms – are expected to attend.

A member of the Chicago-Kent faculty since 1961, Professor Brill served for 14 years as director of Chicago-Kent’s groundbreaking three-year legal research and writing program. He is a past chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research, a former director of the Legal Writing Institute, and a former director of the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

Professor Brill is a co-author of A Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs, published by the American Bar Association, and has served as an appellate consultant in many important cases, primarily in the area of torts. Each year, Chicago-Kent’s Ilana Diamond Rovner Appellate Advocacy Competition presents the Ralph L. Brill Award for the best brief.

In addition to teaching legal research and writing, Professor Brill has taught torts, products liability and advanced torts to more than 8,000 Chicago-Kent students during his 45 years at the law school. He also served as associate dean of the law school from 1970 to 1973, and as acting dean from 1973 to 1974.

In honor of what Chicago-Kent Dean Harold J. Krent called Professor Brill’s “extraordinary commitment to legal education and to generations of Chicago-Kent students,” the law school recently announced plans to name its first faculty endowed chair after Professor Brill.

Professor Brill earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Illinois, where he served as associate editor of the University of Illinois Law Forum.

Video segments from the award ceremony at the Library of Congress:
(RealPlayer format)

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