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January 10, 2013

Professor Emerita Mary Lawrence Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

During the recent annual meeting for the Association of American of Law Schools (AALS), Professor Emerita and legal writing pioneer Mary Lawrence received special recognition from the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute for her years of continuing service to the field of legal writing.  

Oregon Law’s nationally ranked Legal Research and Writing program was formed in 1978 when Professor Lawrence was hired to initiate the school’s groundbreaking new curriculum. She created a program with a major focus on legal analysis, and emphasis on statutes and agency regulations. This unique program combined Professor Lawrence’s training in both English and law to teach writing as a “thinking process,” emphasizing self-editing skills. In founding the current curriculum, she created one of the first programs in the nation that employed full-time instructors who were law graduates. This is now the model nationwide.

Professor Lawrence led Oregon Law’s program until her retirement in 2000, and remains active in legal writing organizations nationally. She regularly presents at national conferences, and she serves as a mentor to many legal writing professors and former students. Professor Lawrence has received both the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Award, and the Marjorie Rombauer Award. In 2009, Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, the country’s largest organization of legal writing teachers, announced the establishment of the Mary Lawrence Award. Honoring Professor Lawrence’s lifetime of teaching and service, the award is given to outstanding academics who, like Professor Lawrence, have dedicated their lives to teaching, scholarship, and service.

Below is a video of the 2013 AALS award presentation to Mary Lawrence:

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