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.
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 2021-22 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.
Previous Galen Scholars include:
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 2021-22 Galen Distinguished Guest in Legal Writing is Professor Nantiya Ruan. Professor Ruan is a Professor of the Practice of Law at University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She teaches and writes in the areas of lawyering process, workplace law, poverty, and homelessness. This year, Professor Ruan was awarded the Association of Legal Writing Directors’ inaugural Diversity Award for her impactful scholarship.
During her virtual visit to Oregon Law in January 2022, Professor Ruan presented a paper to the faculty and met with faculty, students, and administrators whose work intersects with her scholarship.
Previous Distinguished Guests include:
- Associate Dean Michael Higdon, 2020
- Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth, 2019-2020
- Professor Leslie Culver, 2018-2019
- Deputy Solicitor General Anne Egeler, 2017–18
- Professor Mary Beth Beazley, 2016–17
- Professor Melissa Weresh, 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.