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Law School Student Wins Burton Award

APRIL 23, 2009—Noreen E. Johnson ('09) recently received word that she has been selected for a 2009 Burton Award for Excellence in legal writing. Her winning entry, "Blight and its Discontents: Awarding Attorney's Fees to Property Owners in Redevelopment Actions," was published in the December 2008 edition of the Minnesota Law Review.

"Noreen's article is a great example of the principles on which we ground the University of Minnesota writing system," said Professor Brad Clary ('75), who selected Johnson's article for submission. The Burton Award committee chose 15 students from law schools across the nation to receive the award.

Johnson is the fifth Law School student to receive the Burton Award for legal writing since the award was established in 1999. The Law School is one of only five law schools to receive the award for the past four years in a row and is one of eight to receive the award five times or more. Past recipients are Kari Dahlin (2001), David Leishman (2006), Dan Robinson (2007), and Emily Melvin (2008).

Johnson and other 2009 award recipients will be honored at a black-tie ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on June 15, 2009. The 10th anniversary event, entitled "Awards Anniversary: A Perfect Ten," will feature awards to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, author Bryan Garner, New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye (retired), and television screenwriter David E. Kelley.

The nonprofit Burton Awards Program was formed in a relationship with the Library of Congress and Law Library of Congress to honor excellence and modernization in legal writing. Over the years, awards have been added to the original law schools and law firms categories to honor judicial writing, reform in law, contributions to legal writing education, and more. The Program is named for William C. Burton, a partner in the international law firm of D'Amato & Lynch and the author of Burton's Legal Thesaurus.

Portrait of Noreen Johnson
Noreen Johnson ('09)


Previous Burton Award News:
Emily Melvin ('08)
Professor John H. Matheson, 2007