Galen Endowment for the Advancement of Legal Writing

The purpose of the Galen Endowment for the Advancement of Legal Writing, established thanks to a substantial gift from alumnus Morris Galen (Oregon Law, ’50), is to enhance legal writing education for Oregon Law students.

Galen Endowment funds have enabled us to provide additional writing courses, increase the emphasis on writing in doctrinal law courses, support student writing in law journals, and create awards to celebrate outstanding student writing.

Galen Scholar in Legal Writing

One of the primary initiatives of the Galen Fund is to support faculty members serving as the Galen Scholar in Legal Writing. Each year, the LRW Program awards a stipend to a faculty member for developing projects for a particular theme. Many of the Galen Scholars’ contributions have become valued and permanent fixtures in the legal writing landscape at Oregon Law.

Current Galen Scholar

Professor Mindy Wittkop is the 2021-2022 Galen Scholar. In her role, Professor Wittkop is studying and applying techniques for advancing professional writing in a clinic setting. Her work links legal writing and clinical learning to help students produce professional work product and communications, with a particular emphasis on the transactional Business Law Clinic. The project enhances partnership and collaboration between law clinics and the Legal Research and Writing Program, with the goal of improving students’ transference of their LRW skills to a variety of real-client situations.


Galen Distinguished Guest in Legal Writing

The Galen Endowment brings brings distinguished professors and practitioners to Oregon Law each year to work with students, faculty, and other groups on enhancing student writing.


The 2020 Galen Distinguished Guest in Legal Writing is Professor Michael Higdon. Professor Michael Higdon is Associate Dean for Faculty Development at University of Tennessee College of Law. In addition to Legal Writing and Rhetoric, he teaches and writes in the areas of Constitutional Law; Sexuality, Gender and the Law; Wills & Trusts; and Family Law. His scholarship has appeared in leading journals for many years. In addition to his wide-ranging legal and scholarly expertise, Professor Higdon is a dynamic speaker and teacher.

During his visit to Oregon Law, he presented a recent paper to the faculty, connected with students impacted by his scholarship, and met with law journal students about writing their first scholarly article.


Previous Distinguished Guests included:

  • Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth, 2019-2020
  • Professor Leslie Culver, 2018-2019
  • Anne Egeler, 2017–18
  • Mary Beth Beazley, 2016–17
  • Melissa Waresh, 2016–17

Student Writing Awards

The Galen Endowment supports two student writing awards that celebrate excellent student writing.

The Excellence in Legal Writing Award is presented to second- and third-year JD students and master’s law students each semester.

A faculty committee selects the recipients’ papers based on originality and relevance of the topic; cogency, logic, and reasoning in the analysis; and clarity of grammar, organization, citation, and writing style.

The Excellence in Written Advocacy Award recognizes excellent writing produced by first-year Legal Research and Writing students at Oregon Law.

The LRW faculty selects recipients based on the appellate briefs students write in the spring semester of the course; the criteria include analysis, research, persuasiveness, and clear writing.


Celebrating Student Excellence