Stetson Law Dean and recent alumna receive national legal writing awards

Contact Frank Klim
Executive Director of Communications

Gulfport, Fla. – The Burton Foundation, in association with the Law Library of Congress, has selected Stetson University College of Law Dean Darby Dickerson and recent Stetson alumna Carrie Ann Wozniak for national recognition for excellence in legal writing. Dickerson will receive the 2005 Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education, and Wozniak will be one of 15 students honored nationally with a 2005 Burton Award for Legal Achievement.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony June 6 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The program moderator is Chris Matthews of MSNBC.

The Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education is given annually to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the education of new lawyers in the field of legal analysis, research and writing, through teaching, program design, program support, innovative thinking or writing. Dean Dickerson is an active scholar and author on the topic, creating the ALWD Citation Manual, which has been adopted by professors at approximately 100 law schools. In addition to her work with Stetson students, Dean Dickerson is a frequent participant in national conference presentations, panel discussions, and continuing legal education programs on legal writing. For nine years, she served as the Director of Stetson’s legal writing program, which recently was ranked third in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

“I am honored to receive the Burton Award, which is one of the most prestigious awards in the legal writing field. Legal writing is a skill that all attorneys must master to be successful. I applaud William Burton and his foundation for recognizing this essential area of practice, teaching and scholarship,” Dean Dickerson said.

Dean Dickerson’s nomination highlighted her work with the Legal Writing Institute’s panel on dealing with troubled and violent students. She also led the creation of the Professor Thomas F. Blackwell Collection on the Prevention of Campus Violence. The collection honors the memory of Professor Thomas F. Blackwell, legal writing director at Appalachian Law School, who was killed by a student in 2002. This collection of articles, books, CLE materials and online resources about campus violence prevention is the first of its kind.

Stetson alumna Carrie Ann Wozniak will be honored for her Stetson Law Review article, “Difficult Problems Call For New Solutions: Are Guardians Proper For Viable Fetuses of Mentally Incompetent Mothers In State Custody?”

“I’m honored to represent Stetson in receiving this award,” Wozniak said. “It’s really an honor, and I sincerely appreciate that someone like Dean Dickerson believed in me enough to nominate me for this award. I thank the Stetson faculty, especially the Law Review advisers for their support and help in this achievement.”

Wozniak graduated from Stetson in December and is currently a staff attorney for Florida Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead.

The Burton Foundation began conferring awards for legal writing achievement to law firms, schools and students in 2000. William C. Burton, the foundation’s founder and chairman, is a member of the New York Bar and The Florida Bar.