University of Oregon law Professor Emeritus Mary Lawrence, who created the UO School of Law’s nationally ranked Legal Research and Writing program in 1978, received a lifetime achievement award at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) meeting in January.
Vermont Law School’s Greg Johnson presented the award at the Blackwell Award Reception hosted by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute.
The award recognized Lawrence’s years of continuing service to the field of legal writing. She created a program with a major focus on legal analysis and emphasis on statutes and agency regulations, which combined her training in both English and law to teach writing as a “thinking process,” emphasizing self-editing skills.
The program was one of the first in the nation to employ full-time instructors who were law graduates, and has served as a nationwide model.
Lawrence led the UO law school'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.
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” announced the establishment of the Mary Lawrence Award. The award honors Lawrence's lifetime of teaching and service, and is given to outstanding academics who have dedicated their lives to teaching, scholarship, and service.
- from UO School of Law